Extraordinary Moments / Ordinary Lives

better-than-nice-and-other-unconventional-prayersAfter my confession as a spiritual ‘plodder’ just a few days back, I came across this prayer from Frederick Ohler. It’s from a book of prayers I’ve had on my shelf for years and one I often return to. Again, he says what I feel.



Extraordinary Moments / Ordinary Lives

Thank you God
for powerless people in broad daylight facing tanks
with dignity
and élan
and nothing much more …
for the magnitude of beauty
emanating from those once-in-a-lifetime moments
when the impossible is done with panache …
for those bright    burning    meteoric moments
in lives (even ours)–
moments of flair and surprise
when a meek man finds sudden courage
a fearful woman bursts forth in an aria
and a shooting star lights the sky.

And thank You, God
for the other side of life …
the patient    dependable    homely
life-giving courage
of people
we can and have and will depend on
who live for more than the moment
whose goodness grows like a tree (slow   steady   rooted)
in season and out
who have weathered, promises-kept beauty of many days.
We owe them our very lives;
we owe You our thanks for them;
we owe ourselves no less.

Whether by sudden heroism
or solid integrity
grant us the courage and the patience
to live


Frederick Ohler, Better Than Nice and Other Unconventional Prayers, Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989, 45.

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