Global pandemic. Tribalism. Brutality. Racism. Denial. Fear. If ever there were a better time to cry out a collective cry for help, it would be now. Here’s just a small beginning.
A Prayer on the Edges of Things
O God of our breathing, Lord over our chaos,
here is the moment of our surrender.
Not to the polarizing shouts of tribe or camp,
but to the voice of he who bids us come and rest.
We refuse to succumb to the sharp, hacking cough of despair.
Instead, we acquiesce to the lifting breeze of faith.
We refuse the gnawing insistence of our own frailties.
Instead, we acknowledge that in our weakness we find our strength.
We refuse the crowing gasps of those unfit to lead, unwilling to listen.
Instead, we submit to your higher calling of courage and empathy.
We refuse the darkening hatreds now brewing in our hearts.
Instead, we cry out in darkness for the light, found in love.
We refuse the wedges introduced to drive apart life from truth.
Instead, we seek the nails, once in flesh, now in the coffin of our sins.
We refuse the temptation to teach through haughty insistence.
Instead, we reach out to embrace the unconvinced others.
We refuse the over-simplified reasons to dismiss the other.
Instead, we earn their trust through our death on their cross.
We refuse to diminish life, relationship, truth, and community to a meme.
Instead, we reach beyond such dismissals and, in so doing, find each other.
We refuse the notion of our own anticipated demise, “the new normal.”
Instead, we embrace a better today toward redefining a still better “normal.”
We invite your calming presence into the midst of our haze and craze.
And we cast aside any remaining doubts of your strength and our belovedness.
We welcome the respite of your soothing voice, your cooling wind.
And we sit, still and quiet, awaiting your words of comfort.
We harbour any and all who look to us for shelter and repose.
And, in so doing, recognize our complete inability to do so without your help.
We delight each day in the laugh of children, the smiles of our elders,
And, we’re moved thereby to respond to the silenced cries of the poor and oppressed.
We hasten to press into God’s kingdom vision of lions and lambs, songs and sighs.
And the eschaton, yet to come, compels us toward generosity and sacrificial love.
To thee, O God, we bring this prayer on the edges of things.
When the borders of our broad world seem stifling and small,
we reach our hands toward (S)he who lives well beyond those borders.
And, in these days of uncertainty, fear, chaos, and cosmic randomness,
we acquiesce to the vision of God whose crucified arms are strong enough
to embrace the whole world.
Teach us to do the same. Amen.