Lord, are you the one? Who summons a friend when darkness descends and hope is lost, and we need someone to talk to? A friend who listens through the dark words and lets us breathe again when all is spilt?

Yes, you are, and for that you are to be praised above all.

Are you the one? Who brings relief when there is too much happening and we’re begging for the world to stop so we can get off? Who brings relief in everyday happenings—a flock of birds taking flight against the early morning sky in a bleak cityscape, the laughter of a child, the decency of someone opening a door, the uncompromising gentleness of a red sun rising over the lake—and suddenly we know we can go on for one more day?

Yes, you are, and for that you are to be praised above all.

Are you the one? Who gives unexpected comfort in a cold hallway where we’re waiting to hear bad news: losing a loved one, losing an anchor, losing health? Who, just when it seems that life will never be the same again, opens a door the tiniest, tiniest fraction, just enough to make us see it is still light outside? And the world is so big, and we do not understand even a little of it, and our loved ones are at peace?

Yes, you are, and for that you are to be praised above all.

Are you the one? Who turns our feet without our even knowing it, who walks alongside us on our path despite ourselves, who gives us what we need when we wanted something else, who makes us end up in places—with faces—we never dreamed of seeing or experiencing? Who brings us to where we look back and think we could never have gotten here by ourselves, we could never have found this path alone, we followed the signs without even recognizing them?

Yes, you are, and for that you are to be praised above all.

Are you the one? Who tests our spirits again and again, who lets us flail around in the nest all clumsy so that one day we can suddenly soar when the nest tumbles to the ground and we find ourselves free in the open air?

Yes, you are, and for that you are to be praised above all.

Are you the one? Who makes us laugh, and live, and love, and linger in the beauty you put here for us to bask in?

Yes, you are, and for that you are to be praised above all.

Are you the one? Who planted that pull in our souls, that longing to go home, knowing that this is not where we belong, this is not where we will stay? Who waits at the end with open arms to bring us in from the cold?

Yes Lord, you are, and for that you are to be praised above all.

Amen.

About the Author

Hermien Venter is a member of First Christian Reformed Church in Toronto, Ont. This prayer is based on Matthew 11:2-11.