What We Will Be
Holy God, drain us of derision and contempt. Render us stock-still before the glory of each other’s soaring flight.
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when Christ is revealed, we will be like him. – 1 John 3:2 (NRSV)
The tall crane was fishing, picking its unsteady way through marsh grass on rickety legs, narrow head bobbing in and out on its long-curved neck like somebody’s idea of a dancer at an ancient Egyptian dinner show.
The silliness was not lost on two bronzed boys who were watching. They made themselves cartoon cranes, awkward and angular. They strutted and bobbed their way down the boardwalk to the wet sand and outgoing tide, hooting and pointing and shoving each other off balance as preteen boys do, all body awareness.
At the end of the boardwalk they turned and gave the crane a last derisive look. The bird was still there, still ridiculous. One of the boys picked up a stone and hurled it. It was wanton in that way children can sometimes be, finding pleasure in little cruelties.
When the stone hit nearby, the startled crane ruffled, then lifted off. Its uprising altered the air. It rose like a god, vast and powerful, an arc of energy and grace. Soaring now, it shadowed the beach where two boys watched, all drained of breath and still.
Holy God, we think we know who we are and who our neighbor is. But who we truly are, and who we will be on the day Christ’s blazing beauty is revealed, we can’t yet know. Still, in your mercy, show us a glimmer from time to time. Drain us thereby of derision and contempt. Render us stock-still before the glory of each other’s soaring flight.
Mary Luti is a long time seminary educator and pastor, author of Teresa of Avila’s Way and numerous articles, and founding member of The Daughters of Abraham, a national network of interfaith women’s book groups.