"I have a friend who starts her prayers with: “Father, thank you for another day.” I am always struck by the simplicity and intimacy of her prayers. She has much to teach me, and I consider her lessons more and more.
God so often seems remote, incomprehensible and unreachable, yet scriptures teach us the opposite: God as our creator, the good shepherd, the potter, etc. There is closeness in these images, and a sense of hands-on knowledge and compassion. Consider how we feel about our own creations… our children, our writing, our gardens and meals. What love we pour into them! These images describe a God who readily walks with us each day, shaping us, guiding us, protecting us. Psalm 139 speaks of God’s intimate knowledge of us: “You are familiar with all my ways… your hand will guide me… your right hand will hold me fast…you knit me together in my mother’s womb…”
I am thankful for a God who knows me inside and out, and who encourages me to come close in prayer. To me, this very thought is both shocking and heartwarming. Can God really be my closest confidant? Scriptures say yes, and say it overwhelmingly. My challenge is to remember and nurture this closeness in my life, to be open to God’s guidance.
The second part of my friend’s prayer that touches me is her thanks for the day. I love the simplicity and honesty of this prayer. It’s so easy to focus on the list of tasks before me, sometimes feeling overwhelmed, instead of savoring the gift of the day itself. And if I have overlooked the gift of the day, what other gifts have I overlooked?
I hope to cultivate an attitude of gratitude this month, thanking God for each day, for water and sky, for the cool air and the beauty of the season. I hope to look for blessings in my life, and to give thanks for each one.
May the spirit of gratitude be with you, and keep you searching for blessings in each and every day ahead."
Many thanks to Karen for those beautiful words! It reminds me of a poem I've just run across as I've been downsizing my poetry collection. (How many times have I kept a book when there is only one or two poems in it that I adore?! Now I am working on recording those poems in digital files and gifting the poetry book.)
Here is one of those poems:
is a great weight
hung on a small wire,
as doth the spider
hang her baby on a thin web,
as doth the vine,
twiggy and wooden,
hold up grapes
as many angels
dance on the head of a pin.
God does not need
too much wire to keep Him there,
just a thin vein,
with blood pushing back and forth in it,
and some love.
As it has been said:
Love and a cough
cannot be concealed.
Even a small cough.
Even a small love.
So if you have only a thin wire,
God does not mind.
He will enter your hands
as easily as ten cents used to
bring forth a Coke.
- Anne Sexton
Some days I have only a thin wire. But it is enough. And yes yes yes to appreciating the beautiful day! Reminds me of "I thank you God for most this amazing" by e.e. cummings. Here's the first stanza:
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
... and now, I invite you to share your links below!