Save us from these comforts

This is an entry I don’t really want to write.

More serendipity today, starting with a Facebook post from a friend. She quoted an artist who is new to me, Carlos Whittaker, who in turn quotes a Puritan prayer:

Save us from these comforts
Break us of our need for the familiar
Spare us any joy that’s not of You
And we will worship You

Looking around Carlos’ website, Ragamuffin Soul, I found this story about a homeless man named Danny. Watching the video in that post, I found myself humbled, and then led into worship, by the song of a homeless man and his serendipitous encounter with a video crew.

Just before I watched that, I was nailing down a task that’s been on my list since my job ended: catching up my financial spreadsheet, recording everything I’ve spent for the last six weeks and getting an idea what my basic expenses are right now. Information that’s going to be really, really important as I try to plan and pursue the next section of my life.

Seeing how much I spend right now just on “basics,” and laying that beside the song of a homeless man, raising his hands in great devotion and faith, I have to question myself about what I would be willing to give up for the sake of a more faithful life, of more deeply important work. And I don’t know. Today, I just don’t know.

My continuing prayer through this period of change and transition has been “whatever you choose for me, God, that’s what I choose. I don’t know what I want or need, so you pick, and that’s what I pick too.” What if the pick for my life was to be homeless? Was to lose everything that I find familiar? I can’t answer that, and in truth, I don’t think there’s any real way to answer it except on the other side of the experience. It scares me to think about it. I hope I’d meet that challenge with faith like Danny’s, but I don’t know.

So far, I’ve mostly been trying to think about the good possibilities that have come now my old tired job is ended, but uncertainty and fear creep in around the edges. I’m trying to remember that no matter what happens next, there will be work to do, and some of the ideas that I like best may take the most and hardest amount of work. They may require real sacrifice, in ways that I can’t imagine right now and so can’t prepare for yet. Nonetheless, I hope that I will have the courage to face up to the future and stretch for newer, higher things. I’m still praying “whatever you choose, that’s what I choose.” And adding “please help me, because you know better than I do what it’s going to take to do it.”

For now, I’m going to breathe, and put away fear. And then put on some music and “clap my tiny hands for joy,” as my brother Danny sang.


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