A Prayer by Alex Hasha
Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21
Lord, when you brought me into this world, I knew nothing but my own needs. I had no thought except for my comfort and sustenance. I had no ability to give, only to take. You provided abundantly for my needs. You filled my mother’s and father’s hearts with love, and they carried me through my helplessness.
I am not that different today, Lord. I live in a comfortable house I did not build. I eat food I did not grow. I work with technology I did not invent. I still give 10 thoughts to my family’s needs for every one I give to my neighbors’ needs. Thousands and tens of thousands of people worked to create every object I touch and every bite of food I eat. You arranged the world so that they unfailingly give me my daily bread just for talking on the phone and writing words on pages. How amazing and wonderful and frightening that is!
When life was more predictable, it seemed I could rely on myself to get what I wanted. I focused on doing my thing, and the castle walls of my security grew steadily higher and wider. I thought that I was the builder, but you created the community that lifted stone onto stone.
Lord, under the affliction of this pandemic, you have pulled down that veil of illusion. I mistook the predictability of the world’s responses to my habits for proof that I was in control. Now I know viscerally what was always true: that you control my life, and you will not be tamed. You are wild, and dangerous, but loving.
How much separation from community magnifies its value! How I wish I could do as much for it as it has for me! I imagine that I should be doing something bold and heroic to erase this pain. But that’s just the old fantasy of being in control. Instead, I’m just me, with the same limited skills and ideas I had before, hopelessly set in my ways. I don’t know what to do!
I should trust you, Lord. Though the world has changed alarmingly, I am still receiving everything I need. Though what I have to offer seems so insufficient, it flows through other hearts, minds, and hands where it merges with something bigger, amplifies, and transforms. I’ve seen the unreasonable abundance that returns to me, so why do I doubt that you can amplify my efforts to create abundance for others?
Lord, I will put my trust in you. I will start right here and put one foot in front of the other. If someone asks me for help, I will listen for your voice. I will take good advice. I will try to serve your Goodness in the best way I know how. I will use my best judgement, which you gave me to use, but I will not wait for a certainty that will never come. I trust you will correct me if I do the wrong thing or don’t try hard enough. Because what you have already done, have always done, and will continue to do, is so amazing. May your name be praised. Amen.