Category Archives: Spirituality

Laying my Burdens Down

basket

THE BASKET

My arms are full
clutching balls of burdened wool
all so hard to hold
as they each unravel
their sorrows.
Spilling strands of sadness
down from my weary arms
onto the waiting floor.
Struggling, I try to hold onto them all
Try to bring the straying strands
back to me, back to their skeins.
It is a tangled mess
Impossible to unravel.
Too much confusion to comprehend.
Overwhelmed with exhaustion,
I notice a
beautiful basket
waiting on the floor beside me.
How is it that I haven’t seen it?
Has it been there
all this time through my struggles?
Kneeling, I gently place the mess of burdened wool,
The sorrowful skeins
Into the basket,
Laying my burdens down.
It is still a confused and tangled mess
But I stand tall, free and unburdened.
The confusion is still there;
I can see it, and it sees me.
But I carry it no longer
close to my heart.
I have let it go, released it.
Finally free
No longer do I have to struggle to untangle
each mess of sorrow
For now, I am content.
Maybe one day I will pick each one up
Try to untangle,
Try to make each one whole again.
But for now,
holding them
no longer
consumes
Me.

Sheri King Ward, 2014

photo by Evelyn Ward de Roo

photos by Evelyn Ward de Roo

Enough Light to Take the Next Step

candle flame“Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, “How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?” There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day. The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark.

When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. Let’s rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away.”

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey

New Year’s Prayer

I Hold My Life Up to You Now
Patient God,
the clock struck midnight
and I partied with a strange sadness in my heart,
confusion in my mind.

Now, I ask you
to gather me,
for I realize
the storms of time have scattered me,
the furies of the year past have driven me,
many sorrows have scarred me,
many accomplishments have disappointed me,
much activity has wearied me,
and fear has spooked me
into a hundred hiding places,
one of which is pretended gaiety.
I am sick of a string of “have-a-nice-days.”
What I want is passionate days,
wondrous days,
dangerous days,
blessed days,
surprising days,
What I want is you!
Patient God
this day teeters on the edge of waiting
and things seem to slip away from me,
as though everything were only memory
and memory is capricious.
Help me not to let my life slip away from me.
O God, I hold up my life to you now,
as much as I can,
as high as I can,
in this mysterious reach called prayer.
Come close, lest I wobble and fall short.
It is not days or years I seek from you,
not infinity and enormity,
but small things and moments and awareness,
awareness that you are in what I am
and in what I have been indifferent to.
It is not new time,
but new eyes,
new heart I seek,
and you.
Patient God,
in this teetering time,
this time in the balance,
this time of waiting,
make we aware of moments,
moments of song,
moments of bread and friends,
moments of jokes
(some of them on me)
which, for a moment, deflate my pomposities;
moments of sleep and warm beds,
moments of children laughing and parents bending,
moments of sunsets and sparrows outspunking winter,
moments when broken things get mended
with glue or guts or mercy or imagination;
moments when splinters shine and rocks shrink,
moments when I know myself blest,
not because I am so awfully important,
but because you are so awesomely God,
no less of the year to come
as of all the years past;
no less of this moment
than of all my moments;
no less of those who forget you
as of those who remember,
as I do now,
in this teetering time.
O Patient God,
make something new in me,
in this year,
for you.

coiled basket - Evelyn Ward de Roo

coiled basket – Evelyn Ward de Roo

~ written by Ted Loder, in Guerillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle.