Flannery O’Connor is one of America’s great writers. From Savannah, Georgia, she was described as a “Southern Gothic” writer. Among her best known works were “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” and “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” Her short stories were among the best ever written and frequently made into stage plays.
But she was also a deeply spiritual person and a genuine “seeker” of God. A prayer journal she kept has been made into a collection. Here is just one of those excerpts:
“Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and myself is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing.
“I do not know you God because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside.
“O God, please make my mind clear. Please make it clean. Please help me to get down under things and find where you are.
“I do not mean to deny the traditional prayers I have said all my life; but I have been saying them and not feeling them. My attention is always fugitive. Praying this way I have it every instant. I can feel a warmth of love heating me when I think and write this to you. My intellect is so limited, Lord, that I can only trust in you to preserve me as I should be.
“Please help all the ones I love to be free from their suffering. Please forgive me.”
Kristin Clark-Banks is the pastor of Forest Hills UMC.