Lord, bring us to our knees. Quiet our hearts. Away from the onslaught of screens and tweets and texts, focus our eyes on you.
Abide in our perceptions, as we taste and see and hear that you are good.
In the stillness of dusk, on ever lengthening days; serenaded by car horns, engines, buzzing iPhones, birds, distant planes, and the mystical fugues of February vespers... speak to us oh God.
Remove us from ourselves. Help us to dismiss our notions of grandeur and relinquish our litany of self-appointed rights: that we deserve jobs, freedom and low gas prices; that our social updates deserve to be paid attention to; that the world revolves around us; that we can do with our bodies what we fancy; that the chief end of life is our own individual happiness.
Remove us from ourselves Lord, and draw us closer to You. Bring us to a distance--a desert, a depth, a hunger, Sehnsucht--so that what we see of ourselves isn't glamour and greatness, but only your grace. Only your righteousness.
Only you, in fact, for it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
Ashes to ashes, let us deny ourselves. Let us give ourselves away rather than grab what's ours. Let us be crucified with Christ. Let us seek the cinders, Oh God, to be crushed as you were, refined to a new fragrance.
In the darkness, in the desert, in the endless debates, let us look to resurrection. The morning is coming.
Into debt we further go. Under avalanches of paperwork, tasks, and to-dos we further sink. Against our arthritic, cancerous, flaking-away bodies we further fight. The nations wage war and the blizzards take their toll.
But Easter looms.
(Originally published in 2012)