Dandelion Fluff

dandelionsCreator God, Playful Spirit: let my faith have the simple confidence of a dandelion — content to smile like the sun when blooming, satisfied to be relocated & replanted by the wind in fading, unapologetic in taking root where it is not wanted or expected, brazen and stubborn in giving its own ordinary glory to God.

Sunday Prayer

Most High God, in the space of prayer we draw near to you, trusting that you are already near to us — as close as our breath, as close as the heartbeat within our chest. You are brilliant and powerful, the Delight of the heavens, the Song of the mountains, the Hope of the nations. We are awed to silence by you.

We come to you out of humility;
be the Boast of our faith.

We come to you out of thirst;
be the Wellspring of life.

We come to you full of gratitude;
be to this world the Source of all goodness and love.

We come to you with weary and weeping hearts;
be the End of all strife and the Beginning of all peace.

We come to you, dear Jesus, because there is no one else to whom we can turn;
be the Glory of our words, of our actions, of our aspirations.

By the power of your name, raise us up: from death to resurrection, from fear to imagination, from worry to love, from the dust to the stars, from silence to song. Raise us up like the bugle of a trumpet, calling us to walk in your ways with greater grace and love. Raise us up like the sun rising at dawn to shine with your beauty over all the earth. Raise us up, O God Most High. We pray these things and more, for we are yours in this life and yours in the final victory. Amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Under the Canopy

tree-flowerTree of Life, I cling to you like a vine,
wrapped up in you and lifted up by you
toward the Sweet Sun that nourishes me.

Spring Silverbell, I study your beauty
to learn its resistance to plague and plight,
to ring with joy in shadowed undergrowth.

Hidden Root, I burrow to find you
like a mole digging deep for its shelter,
hiding close to the Source of all strength.

Living Shade, I rest while you dance
with the light (a dappled interplay), and
my fear fades in the lull of quiet delight.

text

Citizen: An American Lyric

citizenThe image of a sweatshirt hoodie on its cover should provide a significant clue as to the stark portrait painted in Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine, but the book’s pages and words are so smooth that you might be lulled into an imagination that the reading will be easy, gentle.

It is not.

Citizen is unequivocally beautiful but not gentle, like the most exquisite love song capturing the precise, bleeding pain of a broken heart. With literary deft and through vignettes of time & space, Claudia Rankine tells the truth of daily Black citizenship in the United States.

“All our fevered history won’t instill insight,
won’t turn a body conscious,
won’t make that look
in the eyes say yes…”
(pg 142, Citizen)

The microaggressions, the daily violences, the very construct of spaces that declare your life to be less than life, and the interior dialogues of one person navigating such experiences: these are the lyrics of Citizen. The book should be required reading for whites who struggle to understand (or think they already know) the racialized landscape of the U.S. and the dynamics of so-called white privilege. Required reading to listen to the pain — just listen, without the rush to white tears or white heroism or white defensiveness — to a story of citizenship that was not meant to be citizenship.

“The worst injury is feeling you don’t belong so much
to you — ”
(pg 146, Citizen)

Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press 2014) is a necessary and poignant collection of essays, and was named Best Book of the Year by NPR, the New Yorker, the Boston Globe, and many others.

Sunday Prayer

Almighty God be gracious to us,
bless us in your mercy,
and shine your face upon us.

O God our God, Wellspring of Life: to you is due all praise and thanksgiving. Yours is the peace that passes understanding. Yours is the mystery that invites faith. Yours is the love that endures beyond our patience. With heaven and earth, with angels and all creation, we worship you.

Be gracious to us,
bless us in your mercy,
and shine your face upon us.

Jesus Christ, our Healing and our Comfort: come and help us, we pray. We are hurting, we are lonely, we are at a loss for clarity — and it seems like a long time that we have been waiting to be made well. Be with us. Stay with us. We are eager for your words of hope, your presence of love, your consolation of joy.

Be gracious to us,
bless us in your mercy,
and shine your face upon us, we pray.

Sweet Wisdom, Spirit of Vision and Truth: prepare our hearts and hands for the work of love. Shed light on our journeys that we might follow you more closely. Tune our songs to your glory, make our lives for your testimony, and compel our communities to reveal your good news in grace and mutuality.

Almighty God be gracious to us,
bless us in your mercy,
and shine your face upon us.

Amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals