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