For the month of May we will be posting prayers written for this unique time in history. Our hope is that some will resonate, give language to your own thoughts and emotions , and bring you closer to God. 

 

AT OUR NEW SMALL DESKS: A Prayer for Those Working from Home, Maybe for the First Time

More people are buying small desks, the New York Times reports,
and I imagine the slim pieces of furniture
tucked behind sofas
and next to beds
and maybe even inside closets
in houses and condos and apartments around the world.


A lot of us are working at home now, Lord, and we need your grace.


Grace for the extra emails replacing hallway discussions.
Grace for the Zoom calls replacing daily stand up meetings.
Grace for the extra long support call with the IT help desk.
Grace for the irate client call because the shipment hasn’t arrived.
Grace for the interruptions, when our kids need help with eLearning.
Grace for the slow WiFi, when our spouses need more bandwidth for their own work.


Some of us were already happily working at home,
and suddenly, the other people who live in our house
never leave.
The cars stay in the garage,
the coats stay in the closet,
and the toys stay on the floor.
The kitchen, where we go for a mid-day cup of tea,
is now filled with teenagers boiling ramen noodles and baking taquitos.
The living room, which we normally avoid,
now hosts children on iPads learning vocab words.
The dogs, who used to sleep on pillows all day in the office,
spend restless hours barking at the sounds
of family members moving throughout the house.


Meanwhile, the rest of us were happily working at the office or in the field,
and suddenly, we are the ones who
never leave.
It’s one thing to choose a work-from-home option,
when we have the space and the desire and the will to make it work.
It’s another thing entirely to suddenly have
our routines,
our relationships,
our resources,
our responsibilities,
–all the regular parts of our work lives–
ripped away.


Whether we chose it or not,
this is not simply working at home for any of us now.
This is being stuck at home
trying to cobble together a work life
during a global pandemic.
It’s different, and it’s hard.


For all the ways our work is harder now, Lord, we need your mercy.


But working from home also has brought unexpected blessings.
Suddenly we find ourselves with
no commute.
perpetual “casual day.”
lunch with our families or our roommates.
time to walk the dogs during breaks.
greater flexibility for caring for the kids.
fewer gas station fill-ups and parking fees.


The new
laptop
desk
chair
monitor
mouse pad
headset
telephone
pen
notebook
help, too.
We don’t know how long we’ll need them,
but these practical tools make working at home easier.

For all the ways our work is easier now, Lord, we give you thanks.


Working from home has allowed us to
practice social distancing and help flatten the curve
even while we continue to provide for our families
and advance our careers.


Sure, life would be easier if things could just get back to normal.
Not knowing when that will be
keeps us distracted and less productive than we’d like.
But when our thoughts start spiraling too far off course,
remind us, Lord, that things could also be worse.
For some people, they are.


Working from home isn’t
All bad.
or
All good.
Like most things in life, it’s the and that makes the difference.


For all the ways our work is both bad and good, Lord,
we embrace the complexity of life with you.


Whether we planned to be at home or are here unexpectedly,
help us do our work with all our heart,
as if we are working for you, Lord,2
not just our boss,
who now shows up for Zoom calls in sweatpants.


We don’t know how long this pandemic will last
or how long we’ll all be doing our jobs from the basement.
But we do know that wherever we work,
we need your peace, your grace, and your love to do our work well.


Despite the fear and uncertainty that is now part of our lives,
help us to keep showing up at our tiny desks
ready to work
and grateful.


Lord, establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.


-Charity Singleton Craig

 

May 4-3