GIFTS

O revealing God, 
Day after day
You open our eyes
To your presence in our midst.
For you are where we are.
You are here.

You are
A kindness whispered
A breath-taking beauty glimpsed
A smell triggering forgotten memories
A soft fabric to warm us
A delicious bite that brings pause.

Remind us this week
That though you are everywhere
You are not distant.
You are here.
Though you are forever
You are not later.
You are now.
Though you are in all
You are not out of reach.
You are in us.

With you,
All that we have
Is all that we need.
The gifts we encounter are enough.
Enough.
Enough here.
Enough now.
Enough to change the world.

Amen

Today’s quick sketch captures a daily sight out of my urban living room window. I like to imagine the angel atop the temple not reminding the people of a holy event yet to come, but to remind all of us that here in this place, in this city, under this bit of the sky, that today, we have gifts aplenty. And if, we open ourselves to recognize them, and are generous enough to share them, our collective gifts can indeed change the world.

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Labor

O God of work and rest,
On this Labor Day
We ask you to open our eyes
To the invisible community of laborers
That support and sustain us every day.

We pause to consider the simple t-shirt
And all those who worked to bring it into being

Hands that drew and
Imagined its design possibilities

Hands that
Planted cotton
Watered the fields
Baled the cotton
Ginned it
Separated the seeds
Cleaned the cotton
Inspected it
Loaded it
Shipped it

Hands that
Designed the fabrication machines and
Maintained them so that they could
Spin the fibers
Knit the threads
Weave the fabric
Wash and dye it

Hands that held tools to
Cut the fabric
Stitch the fabric
Finish the shirt and
Stitch the label

Hands that
Drove transport trucks
On highways and winding roads

Hands that
Designed store displays
Rung up sales and
Bagged purchases

Hands that carried shirts home
Folded and washed them
So that we may be clothed.

On this day,
May we share our collective gratitude
For the work of these many hands.

May we work to ensure just labor systems
That invite balanced work and rest
Fair pay
For all.

May this be a day of joy,
Of rest and rejuvenation
Of heartfelt gratitude
For the loving labors of all your people.

Amen

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WALK

O God of all
We wake
We walk
We drive
We greet
We work
We return again.
But not in South Sudan.
They wake
They huddle for protection
Gunfire
No food in sight
Innocent masses
Economic free fall
Trauma
4.5 milion displaced by war
85% women and children
Abandoned.
O God whose love stretches beyond our imagination
Bring glimpses of safety
Relief from hunger
Dignity
Honor
To these, your people.
Walk with them.
Point the way ahead
That hope and healing
Greet them on the path today.
Amen

#PrayforSouthSudan

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LOVE

Free us
O God
To courageously
And expectantly
Practice love
Together.
May we fumble
And fall
And get up again.
Let love grow
In the spaces between us all.
Amen

 

OPEN

Open our hands, O God,
That we may find you everywhere we are.
Amen

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POWER

O God,
It's hard to feel
My heart change.
Somehow day after day
Repeated struggles for power
In the public sphere
Take a toll.
It hurts.

Repair our hearts,
Dear God,
With glimpses of generosity.
Heal us all.
Heal our union,
That we may see you in each other
And work together
To listen,
Building spaces of love -
Houses
Neighborhoods
Countries
Fueled by love’s power.

Amen

#istandwithdaca

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MUTUALITY

Is it possible
O God, 
That we can see differently?
See each other with open hearts,
Open eyes,
Open hands?
This week, it seems impossible.
But we pray
And we dream
Of the beautiful opportunities
That lie within a people -
A diverse people -
Somehow
Some way,
Knit together in love.
Be in my hands,
Our hands,
And in my feet,
Our feet,
And lead us to become
Together
The people that you dream
We can be.
Let it be so
O God of justice,
And great imagination.
Let it be so.
Amen

#ADayOn

 

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NEW

Thank you God for your revealing light.
New every morning.
Amen

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. ... Lift up your eyes and look around...
Isaiah 60:1-4

#lovingepiphany!

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EPIPHANY

Epiphany

O living God
You are here.
When we grow weary,
draw our eyes to your revealing light -
day after day
breaking through
to build communities
of love, light and justice.

Help us to see you
not only in quiet starry nights
during Christmas holidays,
but today
in boardrooms where opportunities of generosity become budget line items,
today
in courtrooms where courageous ones speak the truth,
today
in hands of shelter volunteers shifting appointments to welcome neighbors in from the cold.

May your epiphany light
shine through our darkness,
reveal possibilities,
and create brilliant spaces of loveand create brilliant spaces of love and wonder-filled light.

Amen

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2018

As we cross the threshold
into a new year, dear God, 
we ask that your holy imagination
continue to inspire and surprise us, 
from season to season
and day to day. 
May we step forward boldly
knowing that you call us to
this time and this place, 
confident that your love will support us
into all the tomorrows
that lie ahead.

Amen

BORN

Onto this corner, 
this street, 
into this neighborhood,
this home,
into these hands,
and in hands around the globe,
we ask that you come.
Be born in us today.
All of us.
Be born anew,
and change the world.
Amen
Amen
Amen

 

from Open Our Eyes, Daily Prayers for Advent

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MANTLE

Gather us,
O God,
Under your blue mantle.
For there,
In the midst of the darkness,
There is light,
And love -
Enough for every one.
Amen

#AdventIsNear

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REFORMING

O God
Teach me in this moment
That
Love is true
And sure
And present
And changing the world.
May love
Live out loud
In the hands and feet of
All your people.
Love
Alive.
Amen

#Reformation500

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HOPE

O God,
Bring sweeping winds of change,
Change for all your people.
Bring grace,
Love, and
Beauty.
Come,
And make all things new.
Amen

Change

CAMARADERIE

For cool Autumn days,
And the camaraderie of friends.
A team.
Grateful.
Amen

...after a delightful day enjoying the Furman Invitational Cross Country Meet

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SEÑOR

Am so struck by the remains of lives torn asunder, in contrast to blue skies in images in the news.

Help us, O God, to imagine restoration, even in the midst of such devastation.

Ten piedad, Señor.
Ten piedad.

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ENVELOPING

Warm seas and
Swirling winds
A force of power
Absorbing
Growing larger each day
Rotating
Closer and closer.

Populations
Moving as nomads
Seeking shelter beyond the storm's reach
Gas for power
Food for fuel
A pillow for rest
Where?
Exhaustion.

Cooler Georgia nights
Calm the spiraling winds
Still
Gust after gust
Make sleep difficult
Hyper vigilance
To each breeze
Growing stronger
Quiet, then
The roar returns.

Foreign sounds
Cracking trunks, then
Thud.
Lights on
Off
Popping transformers
Sirens whining
Heroes and heroines
Emerge to tie together
Lines of power
Reconnecting your people.

May seas return
Rising and falling
With the moon's pull
High. Low. Yes, high. Low.

May normal patterns
Reassure us
That we need not fear
Rustles in the night.

May we find you near
In invisible communities of support
Rising to envelop us in love
Always near.

And may we find confidence
In what we are becoming,
Messy, strong, beloved communities
Woven together in love.

Amen.

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