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O persistent God,

Deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.

Pressure me that I may grow more human,

not through the lessening of my struggles,

but through an expansion of them. . . .

Deepen my hurt

until I learn to share it and myself openly,

and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears until I name them

and release the power I have locked in them

and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion

until I shed those grandiose expectations

that divert me from the small, glad gifts

of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers,

crouched behind the curtains of propriety,

until I can laugh at last

through my common frailties and failures,

laugh my way toward becoming whole.

(Ted Loder, Guerrillas of Grace)