Patchwork Prayer

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

“If we have any boast, it is not in our wealth or wisdom or strength. It is that we know the Lord. But an even greater boast…is that the Lord knows us. Here is our place to stand, our resting place.”¹

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

“I am afraid of insidious hands Oh Lord which grope into the darkness of my soul. Please be my guard against them.”²

When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.³

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him,
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
Oh for grace to trust him more.”

¹Stephen Smallman, Forty Days on the Mountain
²Flannery O’Connor, Prayer Journal
³Isaiah 43:1-2

That Thing Which Keeps Me In

Hope, so they say,
Is a thing with feathers
Which springs eternal:
The sustenance of faith.

For me, what is left:
Defaulting to hope
As a seasonal activity
Intermingled with rainy clouds
And bursts of sunshine,
Here again, back again.

Tattered and frayed,
This year finds me
A little worse for wear.
Yet still I cling
To tendrils of hope:
Searching for beauty
In unexpected places;
Taking wobbling steps
With strong certainty;
Weathering the days given me
With quiet joy
And sure expectation.