We Treasure What You End

Fall is my least favorite season of the year, and like so many years past, each for their own reasons, I’ve found this fall to be difficult and heavy at times.  I hesitate to say that I’m emerging from that space, knowing that the few days a year I am traditionally most aware of and sensitive to the spiritual realm remain still weeks away, but in some slow ways, I’m emerging, and as I begin to sort out the new rhythms and paths for my life that always come from this season where things begin to die and fall away, I’m drawn again to the following prayer that shares its title with this post, penned by Walter Bruggemann, an Old Testament scholar and poet, whose book of prayers “Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth” has accompanied my spiritual journey for a number of years now.

We confess that we are set this day in the midst

of your awesome, awful work.

We will, because we have no alternative,

be present this day

to your dreadful work of termination.

We watch while you pull down

and dismantle

that with which you have finished.

We will, because we have no alternative,

be present this day

to your dream-filled work

of evoking,

imagining,

forming,

and inviting.

We are double-minded in your presence,

because we treasure what you end

and we fear what you conjure –

but we are your people

and trust you all this day

in your awesome,

awful work.

Override our reluctance

and take us with you

in justice

and mercy

and peace.

Take us with you in your overriding,

that our day may be a day of joy

and well-being

and newness

from your very hand.

In the name of your decisive newness,

even Jesus. Amen.

(Loyola University, Bastille Day/ July 14, 1989)

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