A Prayer from January 18
Thank you for the lack I feel.
Thank you for every gap in my life that forces me to choose between selfish attempts to numb pain and believing that you have a purpose ready for it.
Thank you for loving me so much that you have chased me into my idols.
Thank you for being jealous for me, for holding back good things that would make me feel too at home in a place that isn't my home at all.
Thank you for letting me see my weakness.
Thank you for showing me that so much of what I hate about the world I am capable of doing in my own relationships.
Thank you for letting me run to the ends of my greed, for letting me stand in the horror and wreckage of it, so that I can see how much I need you.
I once asked you to give me one pure and holy passion.
I meant it then, but I didn't realize what it would take for you to work this out in me.
I didn't realize that it meant that you had to pull my fingers off of the world one love at a time.
I didn't realize that it would mean humiliation when my position in community was stripped away, or profound loneliness when human relationships failed. I didn't realize that it would mean years of chaos, of losing what I had poured my heart into, of facing my most terrible fears.
I didn't realize that it would mean doubting that you exist at all, because I had to first lose a false picture of what you are before I could know the real you.
I'm tired now. Tired of wrestling against you. Tired of praying prayers that shove my shoulder against the doors of heaven, attempting to force you to work according to my design.
It is a strange place to be, foreign to me. Still. Like breaths taken on a surgical table while coming out of anesthesia.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.