Pause for Prayer: FRIDAY 5/21

Often, in the fall, I'll post a photo of the "last rose of summer..." As I was unloading groceries from my car yesterday, I noticed the first rose of  summer 2021!  I know it looks artificial - as if I'd fastened a plastic rose to that bush - but I promise you it's natural and real!  Here's a closeup of the same blossom...

And here's the Pause for Prayer that rose inspired...

There are so many firsts each year, Lord:
the first frost, the first snow, 
the first robin, the first rose,
the first day of each season,
summer, fall, winter, spring...

Some of these firsts are widely observed
as they mark the passing of time,
but others slip by, unnoticed,
the joy of these simple pleasures:
    - the first kind word I hear in my day
    - the first time I get to help 
        the one who always helps me
    - the first day I'm free
        of what holds me in its grip
    - the first tomato from the garden
    - the first drive alone in a brand new car
    - the first impulse to forgive 
        someone who's hurt me
          or to graciously accept an apology
    - the first day home after even
        the best of vacations
    - the summer's first ice cream at Erickson's
    - the first inkling I may have found a new friend
    - the first joy I welcome in the midst of my grief 
    - the first letting go
        what I really need to let go of
    - the first drop of rain on a warm summer's day
    - each "first time" I believe I'm loved
    - the first time I realized
        how precious are first times... 

Like roses, Lord,
we spend the seasons of our lives
between firsts and lasts,
beginnings and endings...
Open my mind and heart to every first, Lord,
to the joy of all that's fresh and simple,
the promise of what can be and what will be:
    for you are first and last,
       alpha and omega,
    the beginning and the end
       of all that is and was and will be...

Wake my heart to every first
until the last which then will be
the beginning of new life, Lord,
life forever, without end...


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