Author Jan Richardson, in her book The Cure for Sorrow, offers a suggestion to begin the day with a soulful question. That is to ask yourself, “What do I need today?” Some days the answer will come easily. Others, we may struggle to discern what our deepest need is, and on other days, we may not even have a clue. And, most likely, our needs will vary from day to day.
On a morning when I woke up feeling sad and a little depressed, the answer came quickly. I needed kindness – kind words, a kind smile, just a small, kind gesture. I found it in the man who held the door open for me at Kwik Trip. When doubts and uncertainties plagued me I needed reassurance. Reassurance that I am still loved. Reassurance that I am on the right path even if I don’t know where I am going. Reassurance that everything will work out in the end. I found it in the red cardinal, totally oblivious to my presence, playing in the apple tree in the front yard. On another morning, waking up feeling afraid and not up to the challenges ahead, I needed courage. Courage to do the hard thing. Courage to be myself. Courage not to run away. I found it somehow, deep within, by the grace of God.
I was surprised to discover my needs change daily as do my feelings and emotions and the landscape of my life. In every day that I asked, I received, not in any big evident way but in the small details and nuances of my ordinary hours. I guess this is just another way of praying “Give us this day our daily bread.” What do you need today?