NIGHT PRAYER: Friday 11/13

These days, Lord,
there's a lot of stubbornness in the news
and it's oh-so-easy to point a wagging, accusing finger 
(in protest!) towards anyone so self-convinced,
so ornery, so rigid and unyielding...
But this morning, Lord, while shaving,
I saw someone just like that,
right there - in my bathroom mirror!

There he was - someone I know quite well!
Someone who's been known to mistake 
   inflexibility for perseverance,
   dogmatism for determination,
   rigidity for constancy
   and intransigence for loyalty...
And those contrasts are not
just two sides of the same coin:
no, they're contrary opposites
and sometimes (even often, I confess)
these mark my thoughts and words and deeds...

Sometimes I find my faults in the mirror, Lord,
and sometimes I see them mirrored 
in other folks' behavior - but in either case,
give me the wisdom I need to admit my stubborn ways
and the grace and humility I need 
to turn them 'round...
Point my wagging finger towards the mirror, Lord:
let me find it pointing back to me...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...


Take, O Take Me As I Am by John Bell

Take, O take me as I am,
Summon out what I shall be.
Set your seal upon my heart
and live in me...


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