Located in South Tampa and witnessing to the love of God for over 90 years. Committed to a neighborhood presence, worldwide outreach and a deep heritage of Christian faith.

Cultivate: A Lenten Prayer

By Sarah Are

I wish I could cultivate my days
Like my mother’s favorite recipe,
Blending together the sweetest things—
Hope and love, you and me,
Justice and peace,
Music and dreams—
I’d add one cup of family,
And one cup of grace.
A dash of starry nights,
A pinch of snow.
One tablespoon of hope, and like oats, they would grow.
A tablespoon of music and the hymns that I know.
A cup for friends that feel more like family,
A teaspoon of vanilla, for life’s sheer beauty.
Three teaspoons of summer, and one tablespoon of dreams.
Plus half a cup for the church that raised me,
And half a cup for the moon that serenades me.
The instructions would read:
Melt your love and whisk with justice until it expands beyond the pan.
Gently stir in all that you hope for. Cover, and let rise.
Drizzle with a sweet glaze of mercy.
Please be sure to leave heartache and grief tucked on the shelf
Beside comparison, doubt, fear, and depression.
Busyness will make this dish sour,
As will grudges and gossip, which is not to mention
Trauma and loss, or my fragile bones.
So use only the best ingredients
When you cultivate your life.
For like your mother’s favorite recipe,
These days are sacred.


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