O God, some see the sun. They recognize the beauty of the day. They set aside worries, concerns, busyness, Whatever they may carry with them And see the sun and the sunnier side of life. God, thank you for placing those people in my life. Thank you for gentle reminders to set aside concerns And bask in the light, to see the gifts of each day, And move through life with lightness and gratitude.
A Prayerful Response to Isaiah 59:1-12 Connect me once again, O God, To the expansive world around me. Help me see beyond my own perspective. Create in me a propensity to listen, to love, to seek, And to redefine dividing lines. Let me move into new places. Lead me in the direction of justice. Equip me to hold the beauty and the pain. And, may I play a role in repairing the breach. Amen.
The following prayer can be sung to this Irish tune Beauty of sunlight and hope in my soul, Show me the way to illumine the world. When days are dreary and trials set in, May I remember the hope that you give. Though I have stumbled and turned from your ways, You meet my faults with a gracious refrain. You guide me onward down more loving roads Where hope still blossoms and grace overflows.  Hymn tune: SLANE (Be Thou My Vision)
A Prayer for the Beginning of Spring Creative, Creating God, Who gave us a glorious garden in which to dwell, Awaken our senses to the beauty around us As we enter into this season of spring. Creative, Creating God, Who gave us a glorious garden in which to dwell, Help us to see the gifts of your creation, So we may learn to cherish them anew. Creative, Creating God, Who gave us a glorious garden in which to dwell, Guide us as we tend all that’s green and growing among us. And accept this work as a way of worshiping you. Creative, Creating God, Who gave us a glorious garden in which to dwell, To you we offer thanks and praise For the long-awaited arrival of spring. Amen.
Before I go to bed tonight God, hear my thankful prayer For life and love and little things That shimmer with your love and care. God, hear my recollections Of moments I’ll call gifts Of beauty, love, and wonder, and the poetics that uplift. Before I go to bed tonight I offer you this prayer In a spirit of deep gratitude For your presence in my life. O God, I trust you’re with me I sense your presence here. I go to bed in joy and peace And awaken in your care.
I think joy is present, but hidden, among us. It’s there in our lives just waiting to be discovered. Joy doesn’t disappear in the sadness or disappointments Or in the hardships, or trauma, or day-to-day stress. It may seem oh so terribly hidden, But I believe we have joy here and now. Joy is beholding constellations in the sky Even through tears and sighs of grief. Joy is creating something new and inspiring Or discovering the brilliant work of an artist, a maker. Joy is the two-hour conversation with another That flew by as if it were merely minutes in length. Joy is the hug you offered a friend And then realized you needed that embrace in return. Joy is the sunset, the symphony, the stillness The glimpses of beauty that touch our lives. Joy is God with us, Emmanuel, Jesus. Do you see it? Do you feel it? Have you found joy?
Words for the Morning (Originally written on August 4, 2015)
I think of all the travelers on the road
And of metaphorical travelers on the quest through life
Those seeking a purpose or a plan
Or things that pass away like beauty and youth
For those who seek belonging, adventures, or a sense of what to do
Perhaps that encompasses all of us too.
I pray for all the travelers today
And tomorrow, the day after, and the next day.
“Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.”
–Deuteronomy 30:11-14 NRSV
In a world full of pain, hardship, stress, busyness, fear, and temptation, I hold onto the hope that I do not need to travel great distance or ascend to heaven to hear and observe the word of our most gracious Lord.
I rejoice, that God’s word is near. The word is very near—in my mouth, and in my heart for me to observe. The word is very near… and God, you are here, and you are near to me today.