My Book of Uncommon Prayers: These Frail Threads

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A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

I don’t want to be naïve again, speech peppered with Praise the Lord’s and God Bless You’s, and other Christian slang, as if by filling in the blanks I could sanctify the moment.

I meant well.

There are elements I wish I could reclaim—the idea that God would intervene if I could muster enough faith, the idea that God would love me more if I kept more of His rules.

Always.
Simple. Kind of.

I would love to get back to the uncomplicated worship where I knew God was big, powerful, and good, and that somehow my weak words meant something in His kingdom economy, that his gifts freely given actually changed things—changed lives.

Even mine.

But things don’t always turn out as expected. The right key doesn’t always fit in the lock; and though I still believe, my belief is tangled and mangled with shaky hopes and sanctified suspicion.

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Orchid Patience

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You need a lot of patience to grow orchids. You care for them day after day, week after week with no apparent pay off. But when the blooms come again, it is a sigh and a smile.

My cattleya orchid had blooms when I got it, but it has been almost 2 years since that purchase. It is finally blooming again! Yay! It is the type with blooms that do not last a long time, but I am relishing the beauty of the moment.

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The Peace That Doesn’t Come

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I swallowed up your fictions, building great thoughts and paradigms on them to support the framework of my soul’s integrity—because
I thought they were true. Really true. Truer than the dusty time-tested, grime-infested mores of another lifetime. Rusty religion.

And why not?

Everywhere I looked, the narrative thrived, as those in power connived to reel in the more, the many, the misled. Those in university demanded my allegiance and my reason. Media demanded my modesty and my shame. And the more connected I became, the more infected—yet still alone. The more I embraced plurality of thoughts and values, the more I felt this swirling nothingness of the all crowding out the any,

and the new flourished, silencing the drumming and thrumming of the old, what all people have always known—that there are true trues
and right rights, and
the fight is to cling to those when delusion and evil conspire, but
I swallowed up your fictions, wallowed in illumination,

waiting for the peace that doesn’t come.

Faith in the Wood

A p r o n h e a d -- Lilly

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The wild risk calls me in, but

fear weights my ankles.

It’s that fear that has hobbled my whole life.

The fear of the unknown,

the fear of betrayal,

the fear that call will not be greater than calamity.

If I could just see to the other side and know,

and not be blocked by wood upon wood upon wood.

But I’m heading in and up,

fear in my pocket, resolve in my heart

because the wild faith-risk calls me on.

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Gratitude

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108 - CopyG iving thanks is a calculated choice, not just a

R esponse to warm, fuzzy feelings,

A aroused by a serene environment and an inner personal peace. To be

T hankful involves the seat of your will, not just the seat of your pants,

I ntuition gained by work and intentionality,

T ested over time in murky waters when emotions and motives were impossible to

U nderstand, when it would be much easier to sulk and voice the

D readful, dark components than look for the silvery grains of gold that in

E ternity are the jewels that will last.

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When You

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When you can’t cry, or will not because your heart is hard,

I will cry for you—tears to seek the cracks, a way in.

 

When you can’t listen, I will be your ears

to hear the hope in a flower, a bird, a melody.

 

When you can’t speak, I will whisper words your heart would say

in unguarded moments, if it could crawl from beneath the dead weight.

 

When you can’t believe—when your faith lisps with fragile emptiness,

I will believe in the darkness for both of us.

When you can’t pray, I will pray.

When you can’t,

when you won’t,

I will

with hope.