Prayer for a Summer Vacation

Father, be now companion of my days….
Tutor me well in all of Nature’s ways,
Sit quietly beside me by the brook,
And let me see the things at which I look
Through Your own eyes.
Let me read in the mirror of the stream,
In wind and earth and skies,
All of the tender meaning
You intend for man to see. Let me learn
How each infinitesimal part of this great universe,
Nurtured within the hollow of Your heart,
Fits into the eternal plan,
Like nerves and cells and drops of blood
Combine to form the figure of a man.
Let me walk, unafraid. through summer storm,
Let me familiarize myself with stars
That, following in their course,
I may stand at the bars of heaven’s own gate.
My hands in Yours, dissolve for me
The mysteries of the night.
Let me follow all winged things in their flight.
Let me learn how true happiness is found,
Let me glean secrets of content
From small furred kings who burrow in the ground.
Grant me these intimate hours with You
That, when my leisure days are through,
I may return to routine tasks
And find, upon a city’s smoky breath, the touch of dew,
The fragrance of the wild sweet vine
Within a subway’s darkened pass;
May catch the earthy, green-leafed murmur of the grass
As strangers’ feet go shuffling past;
May hear the voice of You in man’s small talk,
May see Your shadow just before me on the city walk;
That I may truly feel the God in me,
Wherever I may be; that henceforth I may hold
That heaven-blest joy the human heart craves so,
Secure and fast; that I may truly live….
As You would have me live…. at last!

Awarded Honorable Mention in the 1945 Edwin Markham Memorial Contest