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

Table

How do you describe a space
That is the same regardless of location?
This plane we seat ourselves before
Wields an enchantment,
Capturing us in conversation,
Building families of all kinds.
Each time, we leave different than we came–
Full in stomach and in heart.

All I know: we’re invited to a feast,
Which I know is a symbol,
But also a means for achieving itself.
We drink the living water and we eat
Solid food and
Suddenly we’ve found You
In our midst.

 
1 Oh, all who thirst, come to the waters,
and the one who has no money,
come buy and eat,
come buy wine and milk without money and without price.

2 Why do you pay money for what is not bread
and labor without satisfaction?
Listen carefully to me: eat of good things,
and take delight in abundance.
Isaiah 55:1-2

Immanuel

עִמָּנוּאֵל

I’ve been whispering it for years,
Sheltering in place:
God with us, God with us.
Immanuel has been my comfort
In dark places.

But this sign grows still greater:
Immanuel, Immanuel is a promise,
And a battle cry.
Immanuel
Is my sword and my shield.
Whom shall I fear?
God is with me.