Sustenance & Strength

"For by Mary is understood all contemplatives; for they should conform their living after hers. And by Martha, actives on the same manner, and for the same reason and likeness." - The Cloud Of Unknowing

"The holy ones can grasp the subtleties that verbal formulations do not reach." - Rumi

"I am sending you grain, new wine and oil, enough to satisfy you fully; never again will I make you an object of scorn [….]" - Joel (NIV)

You look on me with love.
You provide my needs.
Please bless the works of my hands
   and help me attain right livelihood.

I love You. I admire You. I am glad of You.
   This path is hard.
   This hard path lends sustenance and strength.
It fills my soul with goodness.

Thank You for this hard path.
Teach me to love as You love.


”[…] she hung up her love and her longing desire in this cloud of unknowing, and learned her to love a thing the which she might not see clearly in this life [….]” - The Cloud Of Unknowing

“‘Guide us’ occurs in every act of prayer […]” - Rumi

"Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly" - Joel (NIV)

I fast more in poverty than out of love.
But this poverty and this love are Yours.
   And so, regardless, my fasting is for You.
But there is Love.
And in this sacred fasting, music.
And in this music, praise.
And in this praise, “Lead us.”
And in this “Lead us,” meekness and 
   an openness to grace.
Giver of Life, 
we thank You for Your providence
   in both feeding and fasting.
Lead us to the way everlasting.

Ceaseless Intent

”[…] if thou wilt stand and not fall, cease never in thine intent [….]” -The Cloud Of Unknowing

"Each door and wall announces, ‘I am bright. I have nobody else’s ray, it’s me.’" - Rumi

"For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants." - Psalm (NIV)

(written several months ago)

Your light illuminates the doors and hallways of my life.
Your fire kindles the hearth and warms the passageways of my heart.

I am far from perfect.
Yet I love You.

I am struggling to find a sustainable way forward.
You know my needs.
Please continue to give me clear direction.
Please connect me with the career You would have me do.
Please provide the means to care for and strengthen my loved ones.
Please establish the works of my hands.

It’s been six months without steady work.
I’ve experienced many blessings during this time;
   but, I can’t lie and say it’s been easy.

Setback after setback.
An intermingling of successes and failures.

Merciful Father, please provide a sustainable fulfilling career.
In Your bounty,
   please provide the money,
            fortitude and
   to fulfill Your will in my life.

I don’t know what to do.
       I love You,

Every Valley

"A woman behaving badly loses her femininity. A giver sharing grudgingly loses his generosity. Deeds done from bad motives remain everlastingly tainted." - Buddha

"With His hand the impossible is done; in fear of Him the obstinate are quiet." - Rumi

"They were hungry and thirsty and their lives ebbed away." - Psalm (NIV)

Unfulfilled needs.
Unknown ways forward.

God’s providence endures.
God’s faithfulness is steady.

Shape what seems impossible into a reality.
Weave Your will as golden thread
   through the tapestry of our lives.
      (I am at a loss. I don’t know a way forward.)
I will praise You even in this time of difficulty and uncertainty.

Thank You for another day resting in Your providence and grace.
Thank You for the good things You’ve mixed into this life.
I have food, rest, music, love, family, shelter, art, creation and friendship.
       You have blessed me.
       Thank You.

The Froth of Froth of Froth

"He has vanquished the hindrances - lust, anger, sloth, and torpor, skepticism and distraction of mind - and he emerges the noble one, unscathed." - Buddha

"Before that pearl this shell is no more than the froth of froth of froth." - Rumi

"I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel." - Psalm (NIV)

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and kindness to me.
Please continue to provide for my daily life
   and bring the resources,
      ambition and fortitude
         to fulfill Your will.
These days are difficult.
Hope and praise are hard to sustain.
I have nothing if not from You.
It often feels as though nothing I do succeeds.

Please redeem this life and use it for Your glory.

Spontaneous Droplets

"To be considered truly an elder a man must practice truthfulness, righteousness, harmlessness, restraint, and self control, be free of stain and rich in wisdom." - Buddha

"It rained in droplets and he was amazed - spontaneous droplets from the sea of grace." - Rumi

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." - Psalm (NIV)

Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of Your spontaneous grace.
Thank You for lifting us out of despair.
Thank You for continuing to provide our needs.

   Please continue to provide.
   Please lead us on the path of Your will.
   Please continue to form this space in which we dwell.

Life is challenging.
Filled with uncertainty.
Many people are cruel.

       Continue to fill us with grace and forgiveness.
       I love You,

Look Into Permanence

"However, whoever gives up this habit of finding fault with others’ offerings will know peace, day and night." - Buddha

"This world is void - look into permanence. Its form is empty - look into your spirit!" - Rumi

"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." - Psalm (NIV)

Focusing on spirit in the midst of visceral needs.
I know You are faithful and I will not be afraid.
   Lead me to the right path.
   Guide me to right actions.
I can honestly say I have no idea what I should do.
   (and I’m o.k. with that.)

Father, I love You.
Please continue to provide for my needs.
Please extend Your grace and peace to my loved ones.
I don’t have much to offer, but what I have is Yours.

Emptied Storehouse

"Do not be concerned with what other have or have not done. Observe your own actions and inactions." - Buddha

"The barn of him who sows is emptied out, but there is goodness growing in his field." - Rumi

I should pour out my offerings of praise and thanksgiving.
I should give generously of Your provident blessings.
I should use these indwelling gifts to declare Your name.

It is easy to compare my empty storehouse
   with those who gather and clasp tightly.
It is easy to be short-sighted.

God Most High,
please fulfill the vision You have created for my life.
Grow these scattered gifts into a testament to Your glory.
       I love You,

Worldly Toil

"Clinging to what is dear brings sorrow. Clinging to what is dear brings fear. To one who is free from endearment there is no sorrow or fear." - Buddha

”[…] all whom God has called will be untroubled by this worldly toil.” - Rumi

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." - Psalm (NIV)

Your ways move like a howling wind
   over the landscape of my life.
At times lending lightness to my feet,
   at others staggering my steps backwards.
You are shelter,
You are wind.
In every space and experience I encounter Your presence.
Continue to teach me a humble attitude
   in receiving Your gifts
      in accepting the many-tendriled avenues of Your grace.
       I love You,

Destiny’s Melody

"Having tasted the sweetness of solitude and tranquility, one becomes free of sorrow and sin, while fully savoring the nectar of the joy of spiritual excellence." - Buddha

"But yet He says, ‘Speak out, there’s nothing wrong - it’s what the hidden destiny decrees." - Rumi

"Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you [….]" - Psalm

The unknown particles of daily existence.
The unexpected joys and sorrows.
The kind word, 
   the scathing critique - 
      fate and destiny sing their songs
      and form the rhythms beneath the patterns in our lives.
Sweet solitude and spiritual excellence.
The words You lead us to say.
Sometimes harming the speaker,
   sometimes creating new destinies to reach toward.

Your unending kindness transmits to us.
  A beacon in the dark, a strong radio signal.
It raises us up in the midst of our torpid thoughts.

Continue to reveal Your surprising grace and providence to me -
   in these long awaited moments
      when destiny’s melody drowns out the songs of our fate.