When the stream of our lives
Seems to vanish into desert sands,
and we wonder if we’ve lost our way,
When between our talent and output,
Between our aspiration and achievement.
Falls the shadow
When we have planted much and finished little
And we wonder if we’ve bequeathed our children
A durable compass for this whirling world.
There is still hope. A lever
Which can reverse things
And revise the plot:
Prayer which can take the story of a life
Which seems hopelessly entangled, contorted
Unpromising and bleak
Oh, and just reverse the whole thing!!
Making it burst into colour,
Twists and turns, whirls and spirals
When we call out to the Lord in our despair
Helping us see ourselves
Scouring our spirits with repentance
Filling them with his Spirit
New ideas, new vision, new courage,
New hope. Fresh grace, fresh strength,
* * *
And again and again, when my life
Seemed stymied, and my dreams
Had crashed, and sadness surrounded me,
When I seemed unable to do the simplest things,
Run an orderly house,
Balance my budget
Or—as now–figure out how to shed weight
And be fitter and stronger
And I cried out to you in my despair,
You came, you came,
Rocking me with tenderness
Bestowing new ideas, new grace!
* * *
Oh Lord, we see so little of reality:
We see the caterpillar,
Not the dazzling peacock butterfly,
The acorn, not the oak.
But the puny, drab apple seed
Is never the end of the story.
Help me remember, Lord,
That you take seeds, or 5 loaves and 2 fish
And transform, multiply.
So I give you my puzzlement,
My lack of discipline,
My sadness and frustration with it
Take it, Lord, breathe on it,
Transform it, bring fruitfulness
And beauty from this little seed!!