Dear World, forgive me.
In my desire to share what is so important to me, so necessary, so powerful, so helpful, so true, I have neglected to notice this about you: your cup is not empty.*
Willing students, perhaps, come with polished, expectant cups. Some with them behind their backs, waiting to see if the offering is worth the sloshing that would come with the filling.
But all others who come, even the parched and those drunk on new wine, come with cups that are not empty. They are filled with what the world has already had to offer. People and places, ideas and conversations, mothers and fathers, families, traditions and cultures. So much.
If I want to pour my ideas into your cup, I need to understand what’s already there. Perhaps sit and sip a while. Have some tea and a teacake. Listen and look. Waft and taste. Touch and let myself be touched.
Only newborn children come with empty cups.
We fill them. The world fills them. With good things and love. With encouragement and praise. Or not. Oh holy Lord, sometimes … With abuse and neglect. With harsh words or impossible expectations. With hunger, loneliness, violence, despair. Lord, let us be bearers of hope for these.
Friend, your cup is not empty and neither is mine.
World, forgive me. Lord, forgive us. For our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. May we taste and see, seeking first to understand.
*Melinda Gates in her book, The Moment of Lift.
You have given us a world of beauty, and we have spoilt it.
A world to feed us, and yet many go hungry.
A world of riches, and we are unwilling to share.
A world to care for, and we think only of ourselves.
Forgive us, gracious God,
for those times your heart is saddened by our selfishness.
For those times we have no thought of others,
no cares but ours.
Enable us to see this world anew, as a gift from you,
to be shared and nurtured.
If I could write the words of life
in pencil and not pen,
erase that bit, re-draft that part,
try out that ending, then…
Penciled in, not permanent,
what a better life I’d live.
Take some chances, try stuff out,
Oh what I wouldn’t give.
Wait, that pencil is right here,
it’s sharpened in my hand.
Sketching, drawing, please erase,
do brush away that sand.
Darker, firmer this one comes,
it may be meant to stay.
Will you please put that in pen?
Someone might read it someday.