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Morning Prayer in Ordinary Time

Morning Prayer in Ordinary Time

An “Ordinary Monday”

is what the schedule read—

no bloodied saint to commemorate,

no special theme to be considered,

   no miracles to recount?

As if any day could be ordinary.

As if time were as green and long as

the season after Pentecost,

as it glissandos like a penny whistle

   toward late November.

Nothing gold can stay,

the poet said. But it was certain

   he was no liturgist.

Nature’s first green goes brown 

before this green season will sputter

like a guttering candle wick.

Here on the Mountain

the mockingbirds have been taught to sing

the name of God

as cooling rain slakes the thirsty ground:


uninterrupted by anything as prosaic

as Thunder–

who knows he can’t compete

with song such as this.

An ordinary day?

This is the day that

someone will learn that 

the most beautiful word of all

    is “benign;”

and the baby with splinters in her knees

will pull herself up and 

walk to cheers and applause like an Olympic gymnast.

This is the day that

someone’s journey to fame will end

in unexpected places–

   maybe even in Tucumcari–

and thirty years will spin out like gold,

well-lived, well-loved.

This is the day that

someone’s last breath

will give voice to ethereal voices

of loved ones long gone,

urging him forward,

and he will step into light,


shedding the fear he’s trailed around his feet

like a forgotten shroud

to step into love eternal.

This is the day that

ashes will cradle a spark

and when uncovered

will set tinder-dry hills on fire-


renewing the forest.

This is the day that

friendships will flicker and dim through neglect,

and that “I love you” will present itself

in a dandelion bouquet fisted in toddler hands,

and a random kindness will 

ricochet through six strangers,

   one to another.

This is the day that

someone will discover

that the God they have searched and longed for

during their brittle exile from mystery

is in the ragged gasp they draw as their head

   breaks the surface of awe,

grace in a shuddering gratitude 

that floods into every cell.

No ordinary time

no ordinary gift

no ordinary breath

no ordinary blessing

   but extraordinary prayer, 

which is every prayer.

The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, MO.  She posts daily prayers, meditations, and sermons at her blog Abiding In Hope, and collects spiritual writings and images at Poems, Psalms, and Prayers.


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