It is winter, and during this time,
my lungs are bound by delicate
ribbons of asthma. I struggle
to inhale in such a way that satisfies
my craving for oxygen. The cold
air claws at my throat, and I
cough again, the ribbons expanding
just enough to let me breathe.
Is it not thus with You and me?
I trap Your grace within my faults
like little cages that are labeled
with words like “can’t do this”
or the neverending “not yet.”
Still, You love me and show me daily–
breath by breath–that life is
worth the living only if I throw
open the cage doors and free
Your grace. I take in another
heavy breath. O God! the spirit
is willing, but the flesh is ever weak!