Lord, This Prayer

Lord, this prayer is for anyone —
with a pair of bruised hands and baggage-burned eyes,
a thousand pound soul and languished sighs.
If you’re bound up, shackled up, beat down, held down,
giving in, giving up, at the limit, at the end
— just stay a step. One more.
God, receive us, free us, renew our senses, put the color back into things, to taste the dimmest light seeping in.
Give back to us something like joy and motion.
Not “how it used to be,”
but the flip of a page, the next chapter,
the ready texture of a blank white sheet ready for the feather-dipped black to begin again.
Lord, this prayer is for anyone.

— J.S.

Quote: Encouragement

At times we don’t think we deserve encouragement, as if they’re encouraging some ‘fake version’ of ourselves that wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny. We downplay it not out of humility, but out of a secret sense of shame. ‘Well if they really knew me,’ we say, ‘then they would run.’ Or, ‘I need to catch up to these compliments.’ But you know: God knows you better than you know you, and He still loves that mess. He still encourages you. He sends people to brag on you; not some future version of you but you right now, because He can see what you cannot. Don’t twist that into pride or despair. Let it be part of who you’re becoming; no less, no more.

Originally posted here.