Are you there, Father?
I can’t see you.
.No, you can’t
I need to feel that you’re there.
.Take my hand, and you will
Edit: last line was “.Believe that I am, and you will”
The flowers I pick
Die in my hand,
But flowers I can’t
Photo’s my own.
Give us this day our daily bread.
I was taught that this refers to what we need to learn. But isn’t it what we need in order to live? Not bread alone but every word of God’s, and Christ, himself, fully embodying and revealing that Word. But surely this also includes
wait for it
Sustenance, air, water, clothing, friends and family: whatever we need, as determined by God, just like the birds and the flowers, who don’t have storehouses or barns. At every moment, they depend on God’s provision (or withholding).
How different is modern American security? We idealize careers, we develop our CVs, we invest. All cultures sell their own flavors, but we sell Independence. “Need no one.”
But don’t go off to the woods just yet. Our assumptions need changing. Give us today whatever we need—food, friendship, capacity for love, ability to learn from our mistakes, changed assumptions…
Don’t we depend even in those things that secure us? Investments require stable markets. Careers require healthy minds and bodies. Commutes require that the gravitational forces that keep our tires upon the ground remain constant. We depend upon a sovereign and graceful God, who holds all things together.
And after praying for our bread, do we believe that he’ll give it and that, after the day’s provisions, we can say, “We received what we needed?” Do we depend even for that? Don’t we? Doesn’t Christ provide all things for life and godliness, so that all provision has as its core the death and resurrection of God? And while we were still sinners, did he not already give it?
Indeed he did. Give us this day our daily bread.
Sorry. It’s been a while since I’ve posted. It’s been super busy.
I wonder if we approach commerce from the wrong direction. I write, or whatever it is I do, to give, to love. What recompense I receive is also someone’s gift. That’s the interdependence inherent in love. And in this way a community should function. I realize this is not the way of the world, it having fallen from love into karma. But God hasn’t fallen into karma, and God still steers the thing.
Is the fear of death, or the reaction against death, the impetus for all of our actions?
“‘The tale is not really about Power and Dominion: that only sets the wheels going; it is about Death and the desire for deathlessness,’ wrote J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter in 1957. He would often tell interviewers that The Lord of the Rings ‘is about death … and the search for deathlessness.'” (Not sure where I got this, but it’s not mine).
Surely Satan and Sauron seek power and dominion,
Stems from a lack of value and faith in the grace of God through Christ.
Leads to a desire to be something other than myself—something that matches my idea of what it takes to meet the standard (the highest standard only Christ has met).
I spend my time reading what it takes to be an artist, hoping to find a description of myself, because I have come to view artists as that standard to meet.
God, give us a break, please. But what you have is better. I’m sorry, but it’s for the better. I’m sorry not because I’m doing it but because I know you won’t like it.
God, send us back to Egypt. We at least had food there. You have what you need here. In fact, you live not by mere food and shelter but by my very word. What you have is far better!
But we cannot bear the desert! I don’t expect you to.
The thing about the tower of Babel is that they probably would have finished it. The issue wasn’t that God was stopping them from failure. He was stopping them from success, lest they succeed in what would have been a small thing, in reality, but that would have convinced them of their greatness. God stopped them and scattered them lest they convince themselves that they didn’t need him.
Connect this with my own towers. I may actually be able to do these things.