God, you called me to love
but people are inherently risky.
Telling my story, being known, asking for help,
complaining again about
the thing I worry might sound cliché by now. Shouldn’t I be over it already?
But something is happening when I am known.
I am becoming stronger somehow.
I am reminded of the pillars I’ve seen
holding up cathedrals.
Flying buttresses, engineered to provide support for a fragile wall,
allowing them to be built taller, more stunning, more covered with ornaments
or filled with stained glass,
letting all the colorful light dance in.
The walls would collapse without them there, but strengthened, they create something beautiful.
God, when I am no longer quite so tall and strong, give me those who hold me up
and remind me of who I am and that I’m loved.
Yes, I’ll get back up again today.
Yes, I’ll get those kids cereal
and help my parents with an errand.
Yes, I’ll go to work or come up with something better to do with retirement hours.
I will try again.
I know I will,
because someone else’s absurd faith in me
So, blessed are our flying buttresses.
For they hold us up
when everything seems ready to come apart, allowing us to face today—
not because we’re doing it alone—
but precisely because we aren’t.
*From our new book of blessings, THE LIVES WE ACTUALLY HAVE (2/14/23)