Thirty sparrows clamor around the bird feeder
while a squirrel plots its route to the same,
and I wonder if this is faithfulness:
to know what is needed and to crave it solely.
Give us this day our daily bread,
for you will give what is good, O God,
Now let us be faithful in receiving it.
The hounds of power make their pacts
with the wolves of wealth against the innocent,
and I wonder if this, then, is righteousness:
to be a sheep that cannot be herded by dogs.
Holy is your name and holy is your realm,
where no one is given up for another’s gain.
Now let righteousness clear our minds.
A doe steps out from hiding with its fawn
to graze on lush suburban flowerbeds,
and I wonder if this is forgiveness:
to live without resenting another’s peace.
Forgive us our resentment and excuses
that we assign as the debts of others.
Now make us alive to your freedom.
The heron waits, watching and wading,
with a stillness that cannot be disturbed,
and I wonder if this could be salvation:
to be steadfast in trusting what will come.
Lead us away from the temptations of haste
and the trials of complacency, O God, lest
we be found elsewhere when salvation arrives.
on the RCL texts for Proper 12 (17), Year C
Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with 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 and other books.