The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Running Shoes

Some weeks ago in a sermon, Margot asked us to consider choosing an everyday object as a reminder of the presence of God in our daily lives. People choose things like clouds, certain kinds of trees, a specific bird, a certain color, etc., that they see often.

I chose running shoes.

I chose running shoes because when I am contemplating getting out of bed to put mine on, I often need a little encouragement. And once I have them on, and am at the gym or out on the paths in my neighborhood, I need a little encouragement.

When I saw on twitter last Monday that there had been explosions at the Boston Marathon, I (unsurprisingly) began to weep. I turned on my television, saw footage of the two blasts, and then, gasped -- running shoes.

This morning, the cover of Boston Magazine rendered me useless at my desk:

Hear these words from Louis B. Smith, Jr., whom I do not know, but who knows my running shoes.

This is my running prayer, O God.
I run in praise of you.
I praise you with my motion.
You sustain my breath, that I may sustain your praise.

All creation joining in
Nothing in creation is still.

My world revolves as I run across it.

The heavens move as I run below them.

Everything moves in praise.

I move as I run.

I run a trail of blessings,
 giving and receiving both.
As I run I am blessed
with moisture in the air
 to cool my straining body,

plants and trees nourish my breath,
 that I may run further,
with birdsong to cheer me on, joining in unending praise
with the supportive murmur of the flowing creek,
with passion in my arms and legs,
with burning in my chest, that I may know that I am alive.

I leave blessings in my turn,
water for plants,

breath for the trees.

This run may end, the prayer will not.

I may slow.

I shall praise you still.

Your praise carries me to the limits of my body and beyond.

Hands outstretched in praise, 
I run and collect bounteous blessings.

The rhythm of the pavement sings

            a percussive song of power,

not of my might,
not of my strength,
but of the persistence of your spirit.

A regular rhythm of irregular melody
breath in windy counterpoint

Still I run.

Still I praise

Ever the prayer runs on.

"Faithful Heights," Night Beds

Bold Women, Bold Sheep