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Lectionary Living

Our Father? (Matthew 6:9)

For a long time, I’ve said the Lord’s Prayer on the way to work. It’s a nice framework – in the car, I used to try to be to “give us this day” by mile marker 19, as that part always took me a while.
I have a whole new problem now that I’m taking the subway to work: I can’t get past the first two words. Our Father. I look around at the people on the train with me, and think to myself: our father? What a diverse collection, and what an incredibly creative power must underlie our common humanity.
So here I am, on my way to work, imagining the love of God, seeing the unique beauty in each of us – beauty (and strength!) that may be somewhat hidden or completely apparent – and musing on God’s constant availability to help us live into our potential. I’ve spent the whole ride reflecting on the different passengers, and I’m still on the first two words of my prayer.
What makes this much worse is that (once I’m at work) the experience of praying ‘our father’ leaves me. When it comes to the people I work with, the fact that we share the same humanity becomes less than obvious at best. A person’s hidden beauty can be completely obscured by how she chews her gum or answers an email. How unfortunate that it’s easier to see God’s presence in a stranger than God’s presence in a neighbor.
For today…
Lord who loves us all, help me to respect each person I come in contact with today, and to catch a glimpse of the beauty and strength you have created within everyone.
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