Last week’s post, What Does it Really Mean to Trust God, came at a perfect time for me. Tomorrow I send my twin boys off to their first day of high school. Four more years before they strike out on their own, to see what the world and our God holds in store for them. The ticking of the clock is deafening. And so I wrote this prayer to help me remember what I have always known.
The day draws nearer
when my children will fly out into the world.
To discover, to fall, to grow, to cry
To choose, to lose their way, to find it again.
Fear grips my heart with icy fingers
What if…they choose wrong?
What if…they fall hard?
What if…they do not find their way?
I want to hold them back,
gripping them with my own icy fingers
Hands that used to let go all the time
Taking first steps, riding a bike, getting on the school bus
Why is it so hard this time?
Have I done enough?
Have I prepared them…enough?
Have I taught them…enough?
Will I ever be ready…enough?
I sigh a little
And cry a little
And pray a lot.
And then one thought echoes in my frightened, restless mind.
“Do not be afraid.”
And I remember
What I have always known.
They are in YOUR hands
And that is enough.
As a follow up to my last post, Broken and Beautiful, I offer you this simple and lovely parable about a flawed pot. Take some time today to think about how your flaws might be working toward a special purpose.
Photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto, 2009
A Water Bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years, this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one-and-a-half pots of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes my water to leak out all the way back to your house.” The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, we would not have such beauty.”
Divine Creator, you are the Water Bearer, cleansing us with mercy and forgiveness. Your water refreshes us like newly fallen rain.
Heavenly God, your amazing love has the power to set us free and make us whole. May we always turn to You for forgiveness and healing.
God of Love, bless our “cracked-pot” days, when we cannot see past our brokenness and flaws. May each crack become a place where your grace may enter.
Be still and know that I am God
Mighty God, all I need to do is look at your marvelous and audacious act of creation to know that you are God. Light and day. Land and sky. Seed and stars. Bird and lion. You created us from dust and breathed life into us. In your image you created us. Help me always remember this first and ancient moment of connection with you, my Divine Creator.
Be still and know that I am…
Loving God, when Moses approached your glory at the burning bush, he asked for your name. You responded simply “I AM.” Isn’t that just like you! Giving Moses a name that is not really a name. Be with me during those times that you are mysterious and hard to know. Do not remain a hidden God. Draw me close to you in intimacy and companionship.
Be still and know…
Infinite God, I know that my human brain cannot begin to comprehend all that you are. Help me to know you. Reveal yourself to me in your Word, in those around me, and in all of creation. Infuse me with the spark of realization that you are All in All.
Patient God, being still is not easy for me. I have no problems stilling my body, but my mind is another story. Racing thoughts about what must be done, what must be worried over, what must be controlled and managed. Help me sink into the quiet, like a green meadow or a peaceful stream. Let the stillness become a new way for me to hear you. Whispering to me. Calling my name. Singing me a love song.
You breathed life in me so many years ago so I could BE. Not do, or accomplish, or fret, or undertake, or organize, or control. Just BE. Give me a glimpse of your heavenly dream for me. Help me be according to your will.