Science in Christian Perspective
A CHEMIST'S PRAYER
H. Orville Heisey
From JASA 9 (June 1957): 19-20.
0 God, come into the laboratory
Of my soul and take the catalysts of perspective
And maturity of mind that control
And activate me and my reactions[ say take them and modify my total life
And its effect on others.
The irritating acids of my selfishness
With the basic elements of your love
To yield kindness and thoughtfulness.
Let the vapors of your fragrance
Diffuse through the crystal lattice of my personality
And the chill of indifference will distill them;
Then this condensed beauty can dissolve The corroded bonds between my faith and works
Bonds corroded with the inflexible and abrasive
Oxides of negligence.
The molecular vibrations
Of my inner life are energized and stabilized
By the peace that's past understanding;
The bonds uniting the atoms of my body, soul, and spirit
Are strengthened by the joy of the Lord.
Now by stirring into
The solution of my complete life,
Contained in this vessel-fragile, But created in your perfect image,
I say, by stirring in a double portion of your love,
Lord, Crystallize in me some of the beauty of Jesus. Weigh in enough of the salt
Of your preservation and put on enough
Divinely touched pressure to raise
My boiling point beyond that which can be
Reached by the heat of the day
And by the heat of the refining fires
Fed by your desire to purify me.
And further, in the mortar of the daily round,
Crush the coarser grains of my imperfect understanding
Under the pestle of your chastening love.
I thank you Lord
That you sanctify all phases of my life
The gaseous phase of emotional ecstasies,
The liquid phase of change that helps me adapt to new conditions,
The solid phase of the foundations that stabilize me.
At times, Lord,
The frustration in the laboratory of life
Tends to agitate my, surface waters;
Will you then pour in more of the oil of your Spirit
For that calm of surface equilibrium
That bespeaks depth and composure of soul.
I need more faith, Lord;
I need enough to dissolve the precipitate
Of the difficult and impossible;
For you have shown me that their solubility
Is at least proportional to my faith,
And not to the quality of the liquid of my environment.
With the power of your infinite greatness
And the precision of your infinitesimal detail
You are arranging the molecular structure
Of my existence into a pattern I may or may not perceive,
And infusing it with the resonance that
Transforms it from an inorganic molecule
In the ores of unregenerate life
To an organic molecule than can be part
Of the structure of your divine plan for man's life;
And from mere human existence to that life more abundant...
I thank you for all this.
Now, Lord, I cannot always
Understand your operations with me:
One day in the test tube of trial,
Another in the retort for decomposition of incorrect ideas and conceptions,
Then in the crucible for ignition of persistent impurities,
Once and again to your balance,
Where even the nations are but dust,
And I am found wanting:
These operations have left me lacking
Fill in these spaces, 0 God;
And have left me desiring more of yourself
Illuminate me and reveal yourself to my heart.
But I don't mind all this, Lord,
For your analysis discovers to me
What should be removed and where I may be unbalanced;
Your synthesis combines the correct proportions
Of life stuff at the proper reaction rate
To yield a more nearly perfect life crystal, capable of reflecting the wave lengths
That give the right color to those around me.
Now before you leave, Lord,
Remember the corrosive fumes
Diffusing through the laboratory air
And the constant change wrought by
The worldly variables, and that without you
I am amenable to their effects.
So please it you, 0 God,
To give me enough of yourself and your essence
To effectively buffer me against these subtle forces.
I thank you for yourself and for hearing me, heavenly Father,
Omniscient and understanding Chemist
Of the laboratory of my soul. Amen.