Daily Prayer 365

Day 258
Tuesday, May 16, 2023


“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?  —Job 12:7–9

Nearly every morning I walk past a young tree—some sort of locust—that signifies survival against all odds. Most likely it was stripped bare in its earliest years, when, every summer, a farmer mowed the roadside ditch for hay. But it lived on, a leaf or two surviving each year, until the farmer noticed it and decided to mow around it. It’s now nearly seven feet tall, the only tree for hundreds of feet around. Standing alone at the very bottom of a shallow ditch, this clever tree catches what moisture it can. It feels natural for me to converse with it, in any season, in the light just before dawn. I share with this tree years of mornings, a moonset so enormous and red I mistook it for a fire in the distance, an ice storm with winds so sharp I couldn’t keep walking westward and had to return home. Years of painterly skies at dawn. Foxes on the run, cats on the hunt…. A tree…. The sunrise. It always makes me wonder: What is enough? …As always, it seems that the more I can distinguish between my true needs and my wants, the more I am shocked to realize how little is enough. —Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk

Open my eyes to the birds of the sky, the foxes on the run, the cats on the hunt, the young trees with only a few dozen leaves, the tender sunset standing watch over this day’s end, and help me to see your breath, your breadth, your infinite wisdom spread across my whole body, alive with your presence. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

May 24, 2023

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