There are days when I do not mind your mystery, O Holy One,
and days when I can even declare it to be the good news.

But, oh! What I really want is for your cloudiness to clear,
for your words to distill themselves distinctly, simply,

for your history to guarantee my future, and for my heart
to know its home because its eyes have seen the doorway.

Then I would have no story to tell but yours
(you know, the one without me at its center)

and my wounds would have no worry
but to be patient through their healing.

But look: you are cloudy again today, O Most High,
cloudy with mystery and metaphor and evasion.

Is it truly so awful to let us (let me) understand you?
Is there something essential to faith about blundering?

No enemy can do to my flesh what I haven’t already done
to my spirit in search of you through these damn* clouds.

*blessed, I’m sure,
but still: dammit

Cloud of Mystery, Holy Aggravation: let me be as faithful
as a sparrow tending her nest, no matter the day’s weather.

Let me put on peace when you are cloudy, not strength,
and prayer when you are elusive, rather than certainty.

You are difficult, O Holy One.
So very stubbornly difficult.

Amen.


The Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), searches for faith through life’s trials. Rachel has also written Writing to God, a popular Lenten devotional, and other books.


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