Do not ask us to turn back, O Mother,
or to return to what has been;
although there is beauty in the past,
we cannot remain there
nor do we wish to relive
the milestones of pain and grief that
brought us from the past to this day.

Do not ask us to go back, O Mother,
where the only hope to be found
is in the dirt of fallow fields
where discarded seeds
must be coaxed with tears
to bear a new harvest;
we cannot return to death in search of life.

Here in the thin place between past and future,
ask us only to go forward with you, O Mother:
to seek honey in the wilderness,
to startle upon love that is new,
to pull fresh milk from every day,
to be strangers upheld by mercy and mystery
and never again prisoners of rationed charity.

And if we ask you, O Mother, to let us go back,
tell us then the story of how far we have come
and how much we might yet come to know.
Tell us the story of the deep breath
that awaits us with every dawn,
and of the promise that tomorrow
will not find us alone. Then wait with us for the new.

on Ruth 1:1-18


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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One thought on “Sunday Prayer: The Eve before the New

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