Give Me God What You Have Left

It is that time of year when we ask for gifts for ourselves.  What if we replaced our Christmas List with the following prayer?  It was composed by André Zirnheld, a paratrooper in the British Special Air Service killed in action in Libya in 1942.  This was found among his personal effects:

Prière

Give me, my God, what you have left.

Give me what no one ever asks of you.

I do not ask you for rest or tranquility, neither of soul nor of body.

I do not ask you for wealth or success or even health.

All of that, my God, people ask of you so much that you must not have any more.

Give me, my God, what you have left.

Give me what others refuse from you.

I want insecurity and anxiety.

I want storm and strife,

And that you would give them to me once and for all, my God,

so that I will be certain of having them always, since I will not always have the courage to ask them of you.

Give me, my God, what you have left.

Give me what others do not want.

But give me also the courage and strength and faith.

Because you alone, my God, give that which one cannot expect of oneself.

 

This is not the first time someone asked for the "scraps from God's table."  It worked out well for the Canaanite woman (cf. Matthew 15:21-28), and it will for us.  What God 'has left' is often better than what we ever could have hoped for in the first place.  Or, as another wise person once said, "God's plan B is always better than our Plan A." For God sees in us what we cannot: a saint.

 

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