Through Sandy

Be who you are, O Whirler of Winds, O Commander over Chaos, O Rescuer of the Refugee. Be who you are for those who need you most: a shelter for those who have evacuated their homes, a warm light for those without power and heat, a higher ground for those wading through floods, peace to those who are afraid, a companion to those who are alone, an inner room to hide from hurricane winds, and a guardian to those working for the protection & care of others. Be who you are, O God of Mercy. Amen.

Failure

*sigh* Perfect Holiness, Brilliant Light, Demanding Divine: I hate failing. I hate doing less than what you have called me to do. I hate doing less than what I am capable of doing. I concede: this is my issue, not yours … but grace is your issue, and I need the grace of forgiveness. Dammit. My soul is beating against itself, throwing up its hands in self-disgust. When will I learn? How much of a mess have I made? Will this failure fade or linger? Will it finally spur me to change, or will I repeat this disappointment (if in a different context)? I cannot stand your withering gaze, O my God, nor can i withstand my own. I have been insufficient. I am insufficient. Turn me from the shame of my own faults to the praise of your gifts. By your Spirit, sweep away the dust of my ego where it hides in the cracks of disappointment. Let me try again, in your extraordinary mercy.

Revolution

Let there be no peace

so long as there are those who whine over the feast

without seeing their neighbors praying over an empty table.

 

Let there be no peace

so long as there are those who declare war for sport

without noticing the casualties or embracing the wounded.

 

Let there be no peace

so long as those who enjoy the comforts of power

never have to meet the disempowered or house the dislocated.

 

Let there be no peace

so long as those who buy and sell the normative rat race

undermine the life-saving dance of revolution and communion.

 

Let there be no peace

so long as the soothsayers equate salvation with security

without naming the need for atonement and equity in renewal.

 

Let there be no peace.

 

Micah 3:5-7

O Holy Construction Truck

The voice of God speaking through the prophet Isaiah: “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert to give drink to my chosen people.” (Isaiah 43:19-20)

In the desert and wilderness places that we fear, God is making a new road with a clear fresh river to quench a traveler’s thirst. And the jackals & ostriches that would alarm us along that new way through unfamiliar territory: they are busy honoring God! Do not be afraid, God is doing a new thing!

What new thing has you feeling apprehensive? Pick up your pen, write it out in a prayer, and invite God to give you courage for the changes and perspective to trust that God is doing a new thing.

O Holy Construction Truck: you frustrate me — driving at 5 mph, narrowing the road to a single lane of traffic, backing up with that dog-calling beep! beep! beep! There is nothing elegant about your lumbering, nothing pleasant about your hot asphalt, nothing appreciated about how long it takes you to finish a project. You seriously test my patience! Please move. I’d rather speed along the grooves of this freshly-shaven highway than wait for it to be done, even though I know I’ll be glad when the new surface is completed. O Holy Construction Truck: I’m short on patience but clearly in need of perspective. Let me not be discouraged by the mess and the wait and the construction signs. Teach (and reteach) me to be hopeful and grateful for the new thing that is coming.

The Jackals and the Ostriches

Do not be afraid,

not even of wild jackals that bark

or gangly ostriches that chase & peck.

Do not be afraid,

not of the untamed wilderness

or the silent desolation of the desert.

Do not be afraid,

not of the storms that rage,

not of the amassed armies shouting.

Do not be afraid.

The armies will grow hoarse and tired,

the storms will exhaust themselves in their madness,

but my strength is eternal; my voice echoes to the heavens.

Do not be afraid.

Wild animals mark their paths in the wilderness,

water creates a new way wherever it falls in the desert,

I will surely make a way for you even if your eyes cannot see it.

Do not be afraid.

The jackal howls my praise,

the ostrich dances awkwardly in my honor.

Do not let your fears turn you back: there is still something new!

Do not be afraid of all that you have always been afraid of.

I am your God; I am doing something new!

Isaiah 43:19-20