A tea stain on the table, shaped like a half circle,

from where a coaster wasn’t used;

ruffled blankets twisted in artistic carelessness

at the foot of an unmade bed;

marks on the hardwood floor from the heel of a boot

or where that bookshelf scraped when being brought in.


The dent in the door from that punch,

when anger overcame him, and pain,

and the unused rooms filled with hollow hopes

and failed expectation, open to dependent destitution,

the sweet gift at the ground of all holiness:

to possess nothing in simply being possessed,

to be utterly destitute, with empty hands,

that he may find rest and security in God’s hands alone.


Praise be to you, loving Father, for the little things,

for the messiness of life, and the scars,

and the wounds that gape open for graced outpouring.

Heal them, yes, heal them abundantly,

for they hinder our communion with you, and our joy;

but praise to you in the process, and the providence,

such that the marks then become marks of beauty,

touched, healed, and made beautiful by you.


Sweet mercy in the mystery;

teach us to sink down into poverty’s dependency,

to find the freedom simply to cherish our littleness,

to cherish the greatness that ever surpasses us, and holds us,

in the loving plan and perfect provision that is yours,

and which, from all eternity, you have known for us,

and, in the folds and wrinkles of time, bring to abundant fruit.