Prayer of the Timid

Oh Lord, I am afraid

of the eyes—

all of the eyes—

the dark, dark eyes

that find me.

They bind me

at a look—

a single look—

a long, attentive look—

and, Oh, LORD, I am afraid.

One glance my way,

and I fall—

I trip and fall—

I whither like a leaf and fall

into the want,

into the haunt

of the cries—

of all my cries—

of all those tortured cries

at one glance my way.

Folded up and in,

like paper—

like scribbled paper—

liked torn out, wadded paper—

thrown away,

blown away

to the islands—

the inner islands—

the deserted islands,

folded up and in.

If they push me to the spotlight,

I’ll die—

I know I’ll die—

I’d rather die

than be seen of men

in my leanness again.

I’ll hide—

run far to hide—

burrow to the heart of the earth and hide—

if they push me to the spotlight.

Oh, Lord, You alone can save me

from the eyes—

all of the eyes—

the dark, dark eyes

that blind me.

Remind me

of Your eyes—

Your kind eyes—

Your ever-watchful eyes—

You alone can save me.

And let this be the prayer I own—

not to be seen—

nor to be unseen—

but that Your glory might be seen—

shining through my days,

high above my ways.

And may my goal—

my one and only goal —

my chief and treasured goal—

be that of making You known.

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