Burning Candles

Once you’ve heard a child cry out to heaven for help,
and go unanswered,
nothing’s ever the same again.
Nothing.
Even God changes.

But there is a healing hand at work
that cannot be deflected from its purpose.
I just can’t make sense of it, other than to cry.
Those tears are part of what it is to be a monk.

Out there, in the world, it can be very cold.
It seems to be about luck, good and bad,
and the distribution is absurd.

We have to be candles, burning between hope and despair,
faith and doubt, life and death,
all the opposites.

– William Brodrick

 

Taken from Celtic Daily Prayer Book Two Farther Up and Farther In p.888 ©2015 The Northumbria Community Trust

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Prayer for the Woman in the Minivan Putting on Her Makeup at the Stoplight

I blame my friend, Tanya Marlow, for forcing me to make room to write this one out. You can blame her, too.


Prayer for the Woman in the Minivan Putting on Her Makeup at the Stoplight
After Brian Doyle

I will say, at first, that I’m glad you weren’t checking social media or texting or even reading email while you waited, which is what I see so many people doing these days while driving, and even myself, I confess. Father, forgive me. And I know you will probably be embarrassed that I saw you leaning into the small mirror in the visor before you, carefully dragging the mascara wand through lashes you most likely think are too thin or not curly enough or too short. But in seeing you in that moment I saw the vast and vulnerable humanity of us all—caught in between here and the world to come—trying desperately in our own small and humble ways to make the world a little bit more beautiful, a little bit more worthy of being looked at in the eyes when being talked to, a little bit more redeemed. However misguided our fumbling attempts, however we contain the sunsets with gilded frames and inspirational quotes—as if the glory of the Heavens needed a paint job—we are still trying, all of us, our engines idling in the rush between dropping off the kids and getting to the meeting, to bring the world into focus, to call forth something magnificent. And you did, you know: you and Cover Girl. You showed me the face of God. And so, amen.

Five Minute Friday

I have this quote impressed on a piece of driftwood that sits on my writing desk:

 

 

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says “I will try again tomorrow.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

 

 

Take a five minutes in silence with God. Where have you exhibited this kind of courage without recognizing it? Let Him bring these times to mind. Let Him speak to you about how He sees you today.