God, I’m afraid of strangers. They say things I don’t understand, and I’m scared that if I listen, I might have to start all over organizing the world in my head. It was so much work just to get a few things to make sense. I’m not sure I want to know if I’m wrong.
God, I care more about being right than about seeing You. I cling to knowledge as though Truth itself were mine to own. I hold on to familiar things as though my life depended on them. Show me, dear God, that nothing true can ever belong to me, show me it’s I who must belong to Truth. Show me how to stop heaping up worthless things. Because, God, I’ve caught glimpses of You, and if this is You that stranger speaks of, I dare not turn away. The whole sum of my understanding is worth nothing if I’m missing You.
God, may I fear only things worth fearing. May I cling only to You, for everything else will slip away from me in the end. May my heart’s motto not be, Mine, mine, mine. May I say, Yours, Lord, yours. You have given, you may take away, and still I will know you are good. For you called me when I did not know who I was. And you find me even when I am still hoarding and grasping and afraid to let go.
[Stephanie Gehring is a 23-year-old self-employed portrait artist, high school math tutor, and freelance writer. She spent the first sixteen years of her life in Germany and lives in Portland, Oregon.]