On Gratitude

You give . . . and we receive

We are your people...like Mother Hannah
We come with our several
eating disorders,
trembling lips,
needy hands,
fallen faces,
quiet in despair.

Because we do not have what we need, by ourselves--
to make a future. And so we ask.

And you give! Generously, abundantly, inexplicably.
You give more than we ask or think or need,
enough for all our futures,
enough for joy,
enough for well-being beyond our trembling neediness.

You give . . . and we receive.

We receive and sometimes we covet and own and possess.
We receive and imagine it is our purchase.
We receive your good gifts like property.
We receive and want more.

You give . . . and we receive . . .

Sometimes we only thank in amazement,
Sometimes we yield in gratitude.
Sometimes we turn our joy into sacrifice and give back.
Sometimes we become more fully yours
in obedience and gladness.

And now is some such sometime. We pray in thanks. Amen.

--On reading 1 Samuel/February 9, 1999
From Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, page 134

My own thanks to my beloved wife Phaedra who gave me this book as a gift last Friday in the middle of a difficult week. And thanks also to our good Nashville friend, Ahna Phillips, who introduced us to the book this past August.


beautiful truth.
Ahnalog said…
Awww...I'm so glad to have been a little point of connection in this instance. Though, Brueggeman's ethos is so similar to your own that an introduction was inevitable, anyway, methinks. :)
jcrasco said…
Beautiful picture...thanks for sharing.
micah said…
thank you for posting it... and now to ponder.

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