Tag Archives: possibilities

digging for the possible


On days where I’m ready to practice my craft, and I’ve slept long enough and I’m not trying to finish other things in my head while pretending to listen to someone else, I find myself digging for the possible with the clients who sit and speak and hurt and wonder in my office.

On days where I’m not ready to practice the craft, or on days where I forget it is actually a craft to be practiced, or on days where I’m so absorbed in my own speaking and hurting and wondering…it’s on those kinds of days where I don’t dig for the possible, but rather restate the obvious. My laziness or distraction pushes me to remind others of their own faults, hurts, weaknesses, and burning realities that they––no doubt––know and feel and ultimately honor much more than I ever could.

But on the days where I’m tuned in, dialed up, hunkered down, it becomes magical. To be a voice given some privilege in a room, I get to ask the questions that  uncover the great strength and fortitude and creativity and resilience of the people sitting in my office, telling stories more honest than I’ve every dared to tell.

And as we dig through the rubble for the possibilities of their futures, I become immediately honored and terrified that what might happen in the room depends to a certain extent on the state in which I show up to work.

And with the stakes so high, if stakes are viewed as gifts, to whom much is given much is required.

Pine Tree

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before the end of this day

You are God of all our possibilities. You preside over all our comings and goings, all our wealth and all our poverty, all our sickness and all our health, all our despair and all our hope, all our living and all our dying.

And we are grateful.

You are God of all of our impossibilities. You have presided over the emancipations and hearings of our mothers and fathers; you have presided over the wondrous transformations in our own lives. You have and will preside over those parts of our lives that we imagine to be closed.

And we are grateful.

So be your true self, enacting the things impossible for us, that we might yet be whole among the blind who see and the dead who are raised; that we may yet witness your will for peace, your vision for justice, your vetoing all our killing fields.

At the outset of this day, we place our lives in your strong hands. Before the end of this day, do newness among us in the very places where we are tired in fear, we are exhausted in guilt, we are spent in anxiety.

Make all things new, we pray in the new-making name of Jesus.


+ W. Brueggeman, from “You beyond our weary selves” in Prayers for a Privileged People


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