The graces of my silent retreat continue to deepen in my life. One gift continues to occur in the form of simple yet profound song lyrics that we sang multiple times as the reflection song after Communion: “Take, O take me as I am. Summon out what I shall be. Set a seal upon my heart, and live in in me.” (Lyrics by John Bell.)
While on retreat, I found myself praying these lyrics about myself, begging God to take me as I am—broken, tired, exhausted, yet with a heart desiring to be in a relationship with God. God met me in all of my brokenness, tiredness, and exhaustion. God took me as I was and reminded me of all the ways God loved me and continues to love me. God helped me understand how God continues to create me moment by moment to summon out what I shall be.
Now home, these lyrics continue to seep into my life and in my prayer for others. As a mom, I find myself asking God to take my children as they are and to summon out what God desires them to be. I pray for my children to know God lives in them. At the same time, I pray the more challenging prayer that I can take my children as they are and accept fully who God intends them to be, not who I want them to be. This prayer turns from my children to my husband and then to family members and friends. As a spiritual director, I find myself praying these song lyrics for the people who open their lives to me and allow me to witness the intimate work of God in their lives. This song finds itself in my preparatory prayer before they walk through my door, and I find the lyrics in my head as I listen to the sacred stories of their lives.
My prayer for all of us is that we can trust that God, who lives in each of us, is taking us as we are and continually summoning out who we shall be.