This week marks approximately one year since shut-downs in the United States began in response to COVID-19. The landscape of life right now still feels foreign, even as it grows more familiar every day. I wrote this prayer long before the pandemic – a prayer included in Ash and Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos and Grace of Daily Life – yet it resonates with my heart’s deepest cries and hopes as we cross this anniversary threshold.
These wounds will someday bless, and in countless ways, already are.
When I need God to redeem this painful, hard, sad thing (From Ash and Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos and Grace of Daily Life)
When I peered up from the hole
and saw no way out…
When what was taken
away gave no warning…
When I didn’t think I
had the courage
(or even the energy)
to live into a life looking
nothing like it did before…
Something was happening.
The thing I thought would break me –
that did break me –
is now making me.
Great is the mystery of faith…
The pieces of life’s puzzle
come together here and there,
or shockingly in a big patch at once,
and I see you…
active and good in all things.
Your power to redeem –
to take the most painful deaths
and birth from them living, breathing gifts,
taking my own breath away in awe.
You do not create pain for me to grow
or cause the heartache of my soul,
but are the expert Shaper of life’s ashes.
Somehow this terrible thing –
when given in earnest to you today
(and many tomorrows from now!)
becomes an open channel where
something amazing will flow.
A passage echoing
with a tender Voice –
You can trust me
with all the things….
in all the things…
You will lift me from this hole.
I will wail and wonder with gratitude.
I’ll begin a new kind of dance,
letting my limp remind
my soul and world
how broken bodies
learn exquisite new rhythms.
With you, pain finds a home
in something larger than itself.
And sacred scars hold haven over
wounds which will someday bless.
Genesis 45:4-8 * Joel 2:25 * 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“So we do not lose heart. Even though our
outer nature is wasting away, our inner
nature is being renewed day by day…
preparing us for an eternal weight of glory
beyond all measure…” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17