Enduring Late Winter

Today I am featuring a guest writer, Carol DeSchepper. She has a talent for finding great spiritual writings and adding her own thoughtful responses. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

I must admit I rarely give Groundhog Day a second thought.  Whether it’s 4 weeks or 6 weeks or 8 weeks from now when ‘winter ends’, it remains cold and wintery in my part of the world. That said, I rejoice at more hours of daylight.  It’s a very hopeful sign.  One of my colleagues shared this prayer with a group of parish nurse colleagues.  I will save it and look at it again and again.  It changes the way I look at Groundhog Day.  It offers so much symbolism for our faith journey and our inner life. Indeed ‘you [God] hear our chirps and growls and snores and in your love answer’.  I already know the answer --- that too is love.  
Good God Almighty, it’s cold!
It’s a miracle that we survive at all.
Don’t let our hearts be frozen.
Make us conscious in the cold
of those who shiver for want of kindness, justice and compassion.
Groundhog of All Being,
Wake us from our hibernation
at least long enough to recognize the world around.
Let us not shirk from our shadows,
but rather face the unresolved.
Let us confront those things that need changing
and accept the things that simply are.
Don’t let us rush back to sleep prematurely.
O you who descended into the earth,
and rose again with the dawn,
Open our eyes to light,
even the cold crisp light of winter.
Let it awaken in us irrational hope,
the unreasonable possibility of spring in the depth of winter,
the possibility of kindness in a world desperate for warmth.
God of the meantime,
Let us huddle together while we wait,
let us nestle and dream, reach out to each other
and comfort each other in the warmth of our prayers.
(Prayer cycles and prayers for specific people)
From deep inside our burrows
we call out for you.
Hear our chirps and growls and snores,
and in your love answer.
(Centre for Christian Studies, Winnipeg, Canada)

Carol DeSchepper is a spiritual director/ companion, retired nurse, parish nurse, and a seeker who lives in Lake Park, Iowa.

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