Waiting for Peace

You are the beginning of all life, O God,
and the foundation of all hope.
You are the joy from which springs peace
and the peace from which blooms love.
We turn our hearts toward you:

Be kind to these weary bones, we pray.
This life withers like grass and
our spirits faint in search of your salvation,
yet we seek your glory rather than our own
because your promises do not fail or fade.

Merciful God, hear those who are crying out
for rough paths to be made smooth,
for treacherous climbs to be made low.
Speak comfort to your people, O God Most High.
Assure the oppressed that their relief is long overdue.

Hasten the day when justice is realized,
when children are safe from predators
and creation is safe from selfish consumption.
Turn aside our leaders from greed and vanity,
so the most vulnerable might be unburdened.

We wait for you, Mighty and Magnificent God,
more than the sun waits to crest the horizon,
more than the river waits to carve its path,
more than the stars wait to dissolve into fire.
Our beginning, our end: we await your coming.

 

Not Isaiah 11

Dear Jesus, the wolf has no interest in resting quietly alongside the lamb — only raping her. The leopard is restless to devour the kid for the sake of a profit. Who will reprimand the lion’s violent ways, who will declaw its instincts and teach it to follow the calf peaceably? When will Leviathan no longer threaten every creature within its shared habitat? When will the snake no longer spill blood to pollute the dwelling of the mouse? Will the piranha never stop consuming others’ livelihoods and territories? Will no one stop the braying ass from broadcasting its hatred? And the child — God have mercy, the child! — is continuously hunted by snipers as if the child were an army. Send your Spirit swiftly, merciful Jesus, to decide for the meek and curtail the merciless, to embolden equity and stifle abuse, to speak life to peace and death to evil.

Waiting

I pine for You with every prayer spoken, every candle lit, every hymn intoned, every silence observed.

My heart would burst in the waiting if I did not know so certainly that you would not fail to arrive.

How could you fail — You who are eternally faithful — and so while I wait, I count the ways I love You:

I love that You greet me with birdsong every morning and speak comfort to my heart every evening with sunset.

I love that You are restless for the realization of justice, yet You do not neglect mercy in pursuit of our redemption.

I love that You do not love me first or even second, that You love creation most of all and covet its adoration.

I love that You are unexpected: calling dry bones to dance, proclaiming life in the desert, raising up children to lead us.

I love that You are playful even in Your power — there goes the gangly ostrich and the tentacled star-nosed mole!

Let me see a sign of Your coming, just a glimpse that You have not forgotten Your promise, and my heart will be content.

Faithfulness

O God my God,
tune my heart
to follow You
like the day follows
the long peace of night,
like the sun follows
its course across the sky,
like the cloud follows
the inspiration of the wind,
like the maple follows
winter’s invitation to hibernate,
like the warbler follows
its instincts to migrate.
O God my only God,
so tune my heart.

Peace

Somewhere in the chaos,
let me know Peace
like the eye of a storm:
everything swallowed up
in a vacuum that leaves nothing
but awe. Somewhere in the shouting,
let me know Peace like an ocean:
pounding and roaring, an utter
lack of forgiveness for any grain
that does not succumb to its power.
Somewhere in the fight, let me
know Peace like surrender:
without option or protection
before a greater strength. Somehow,
somewhere in it all, let me know Peace.

on Psalm 85:8