God the Eternal Giver,
It is my very nature. It is my repetitive human inclination. In the face of destruction, I find myself surprised to inhabit the place where my attempts to have failed me. I wiggle and squirm. I scheme and plot. But still I remain – stuck between a rock (my situation, all that is out of my control) and a hard place (my internal chains of fear, shame, and lack of imagination).
The wise ones recognize the space quickly, knowing well this familiar spot. They have been here enough to know that the wiggling, squirming, scheming, and plotting lead only to permanent residence in a stuck land. They have been here enough to know that our inclination to isolation in these moments denies the reality that these are the places that unite us as One Body of Christ.
“Cry out,” our ancestors insist. “Cry out for the God who hears you and comes to you.”
Your mighty hand, your outstretched arm, your terrifying display of power, with signs and wonders – all of these things outshine anything in our bag of tricks. The only successful thing in our bag is our voice that cries out to you, a voice that lets the pain be named for what it is – unbearable without hope.
God the Eternal Giver, I confess both my familiarity with the space and with my well worn patterns and practices of trying to free myself through my own elusive bag of tricks.
During Lent, when I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place, may I pause long enough to turn outward to you rather than inward to myself. For you are the Eternal Giver – the one who persistently, consistently comes through divine presence to extend a hand and to bring me into a new place where there is enough space to breathe.
When it comes, may I recognize my breath growing deeper and more full. Then may I fall to my knees in recognition of the One who led me there – giving thanks with my whole heart, bringing my first fruits, and trusting your eternal abundance.