Deborah Beach Giordano
© October 22, 2012
There are a thousand thousand reasons to be grateful, Holy One,
but we are often blinded by distractions and disturbances.
Open our eyes to Your glorious nature, O Source of every blessing,
Strength that sustains us, Grace that upholds us.
When I quiet the noise and worries, I can almost hear Your voice.
It is in the still small silence of a moonlit night, in the rising wind,
the trembling leaves, in the rain as it splashes on the sidewalk.
Outside the walls of “pure reason,” freed
from the prison of the five senses, I catch a glimpse of You —
in a deer peering over the garden gate,
a coyote slipping through the high grass,
a salmon leaping in the stream,
the morning fog as it disappears from sight.
At that moment there are no words.
You are beyond all telling — though we never tire of trying,
awash in abundant phrases;
adrift on a sea of “as ifs,” carried away on a tide of metaphors:
You are like the sun at its rising, the moon in its fulness,
a mother bear, a roaring lion, a jealous lover,
a fearsome warrior, an anxious father,
a just judge, a mighty king, a generous redeemer….
Similar to, but different. Far outside anything
we have ever beheld or imagined; beyond our experience or understanding.
You are Utterly Other: a rider on the clouds, serene and untouched
by the worries that trouble and confuse life on earth.
Yet You are neither distant nor disinterested. We are precious to You,
for you established our tribe just below the blessed angels.
You designed this planet as our home, adorning it with a blue-green cloak;
the life-giving waters that race down the mountains, into the valleys,
gathering together at last in the deep.
Along the way the streams bring refreshment to the wild creatures;
the birds that nest in the trees, the moose, the mice, the bears,
the otters frolicking in the shallows.
All creation is nourished by Your works:
grain and grasses for the animals;
and for us, vegetables to eat, wine to cheer the spirit,
oil to soothe the skin, and bread to sustain our strength.
The trees lift up their branches in praise
cedars and sycamores, figs, firs, and junipers;
the forests and the orchards reach out to You.
You have shaped the constellations to mark the seasons,
set the sunlight to awaken us and the darkness as a time for rest.
Your handiwork is vast and awe-inspiring,
spanning our earth and stretching across the cosmos.
With perfect understanding you created everything that lives:
all creatures great and small.
May God rejoice in His works for ages yet to come
through our wise and careful stewardship of the gifts we have been given.
May the glory of the Lord last forever.
Let us give praise to the Lord all our days. As long as we have breath
may our thoughts and deeds bring delight to God,
as God’s works bring delight to us.
May all people turn from wickedness,
and evildoing disappear from our world, as if it has never been.
Bless the Lord, O my soul. Bless the Lord!