Monday Morning Offering: 225

Coffee in the Morning by George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

January’s in my rear view mirror, Lord,
(and for that I’m grateful)
but the cold and gray of winter follow
into February, the shortest month
that seems too long, long a time
to wait for spring to come and with it hope
that I will shed the heavy winter coat
that weighs upon my spirit…

I hibernate in loneliness that starves my soul
and I begin to live off my own store,
hungry for the bread that feeds and fills my heart,
hungry for the food you are for life,
for the taste of you, sweet and fresh upon my lips…

But soon, next week, will come that smudge
of gray-black ash upon my brow
to mark me as a sinner needing mercy and forgiveness
and that pardon of my faults that only you can offer…

With Ash Wednesday comes a stark reminder:
how I often choose the darker, shadowed path
and shun the light and warmth that beckon me
to follow in your footsteps, where you lead…

Let my longing for light and my thirst for new life
draw me from the cold of winter’s hold
into the warm embrace of your arms opened
and inviting me to fall into a season of your love…

In any season, any month, on any day
there comes the grace to choose the light, the warmth,
the wisdom of your path, your word, your way…

But I so often take the low road, the short cut,
the easy way that ends up being hard,
the dead end where I lose myself and you
and the care of those around me…

Give me a taste, a thirst for what you promise,
for what’s yours to give;
for what so many times before I’ve gratefully received;
for what’s revived me in those times when all seemed lost,
when spring and summer seemed so far away,
too far away to be my hope…

As I long through winter for the early morning light,
teach me now to long for you and for your light
rising in my heart, illumining my soul
and lifting up my spirit in a Lenten springtime
of renewal and refreshment in your grace…

With ashes thumbed upon my face,
I’ll lift my heart to you and pray that with your gentle hand
you’ll wash away my faults and sins, my guilt and shame,
and let your light play warm upon my soul…

While I await this moveable feast of your grace:
move my heart from its worried winter;
move my mind from its sluggish sleep;
and move my spirit to a generous response
to all the ways you move within my life…

Receive the prayer I offer on this Monday morning, Lord,
and through this day, into the night
and in the days ahead…

Ash Wednesday’s just nine days away:
begin to ready me, prepare me for your grace,
and lead me, guide me, draw me, Lord,
into the springtime of your grace and peace…


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