A Pilgrim's Prayer

Father,

Today I am grateful that You are the great Constant.

When I was a child, I thought that the greatest thing in life was to cling to some earthly other; to find some one was my aim.  I thought that in this ocean of life we must find another body at sea, floating along just as ourselves, and attach ourselves to that person.

And, to be sure, there is such a thing as marriage – which You have designed for the purpose of making the two into one.  There is that cleaving – that inseparable union – which You gave to us at the almost beginning.

Yet – even this was by way of concession.  From the very beginning it was not so.  The flesh may be made one with another – but never the soul.  The soul – even of those who are married – always stands alone before You.  And lest we think that it is the aim of life to find some human other, You sent Your apostle to say:  “Art thou unmarried?  Seek not a wife.”

No.  Life is about finding only one Other.

And so – the winds of Providence blow us on Your ocean – far away from the many others to whom we are tempted to cling.

You have made us for Yourself.

You have made us for Yourself –alone.

Yes – life is about the “I” and the “thou.”  But only one “Thou” is worthy of our lives:  Thou who art holy – and not the same as the I.  Thou who art loving – with a love that makes every romance seem trite, and every mother cruel, and every father evil, and every brother faithless, and every friend foolish, and every king weak in his power to truly care for his citizens.

Your Wind blows us onward – and forward – into new countries, and to meet new souls, and to hear other tongues, and to feel the warmth of foreign friendships.  For only when You move us from our homes can we find Home.  Only when we leave the country to which we were born can we find our True Country, for which we were conceived.  Only when we hear the voices of another tongue do we remember that there is a language our heart speaks that cannot be uttered.

So keep us from grasping onto others – that we may leave ourselves free for the One Other for whom we were made.

Guardian and Guide, Master of life’s journey – steer us onward until our souls find safe harbor – at last – upon Your shores. 

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