Gratitude

The tree shall whisper thanks
for the wind by which it dances
though its roots cannot be moved.

The dove shall coo thanks
for the small nourishing seed
that has blown so far from flower.

The rock shall be still in thanks
for the quiet stream pooling past it
and softening its hardest points & edges.

The violet shall radiate thanks
for the taller grasses that shelter it
from the harsh noonday sun.

The seagull shall clamor thanks
for the tide that bears salty morsels
and swells the breeze for flight.

The field shall murmur thanks
for the summer rain that gently
bends the hay and soaks the earth.

And I shall collapse in thanks
for all good gifts of creation
and all sweet joys of love in life.

Sunday Prayer: Lamentation

Go away from me, O God.
You overpower my life
and divide it ruthlessly:
the chaff from the wheat,
the longing from the glorifying,
the entrenched from the freeing,
the comfortable from the necessary.
You melt my heart
(like sap in the spring,
like snow in the winter)
until there is nothing left, for
your zeal consumes my very being.
For your sake, I breathe
and by your grace only, I live
but oh! that you would let me hide
from your gaze and take shelter
in the shadow of your wings,
rather than stand so bare
in your unrelenting light.
I am without peace
because you call me to the fullest life.
I am without rest
because you call me to utter faithfulness.
I say again: Go away from me, O God,
you are too much. I cannot
contain your eternal fire;
I cannot
be content
in your holy rage.
When I want to turn away from death,
you command my courage
to witness life;
when I (seem to) find my stride in life,
you deliver death as an ax
at the root.
I am cut down;
my life is lost to me
like a leaf swirling away in a flood.
Have mercy, LORD —
you have teased me and I
have been too easily seduced.
By your grace,
turn away.
You are my ever-present trouble;
save me at long last
and let me go.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Sunday Prayer: Solidarity

God all mighty,
this is my sister
carrying the world on her shoulders,
praying for a resting space, a safe & joyous place.

God all gracious,
this is my brother
standing ever in the line of fire,
praying for a loving space, a hopeful & encouraging place.

God ever faithful,
this is my friend
measuring each day with caution,
praying for their family space, a creative & uninhibited place.

God ever good,
this is me
hovering between energy and exhaustion,
praying for bold space, a laughing & community-building place.

Together, we plead and pray
that hope will not disappoint,
that the impossible will indeed find a way,
that mercy will become a harvest of peace,

that such a day will come
when a person will not need to shake dust from their feet
against the city of their sister, their friend, their family.
Until that day, guide us as wise serpents and gentle doves.

God all mighty,
this is my sister: do not forget her prayers.
God all gracious,
this is my brother: do not tune out his cries.

God ever faithful,
this is my friend: answer their sorrow.
God ever good,
this is me: make your face shine again.

Trusting in your steadfast love,
leaning on your faithfulness across generations,
singing the songs of our thanksgiving
while we await your promises;

We say together Amen, amen, and amen.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Dear White Jesus

I cannot sit
at your clean white feet
waiting for the blue skies of eternity
while there is white-induced hell on earth.

I cannot pray
to your sweet white face
or repeat your white savior fairytales
that twist hope with capitalism and manifest destiny.

I cannot preach
of your anemic white justice
that absolves its own habits of white racism
and calls for #alllivesmatter whenever the lamb meets the lion.

Take your wonderbread cubes
and your styrofoam wafers; burn them
on the vineyards still bleeding from native populations.
Call it a picnic and see if white folks come with their children.

Take every last one of your white disciples
whose tongues are glib with love and grace
but slow to utter #BlackLivesMatter for fear of
committing their lives to a payment long past due.

Take your white salvation
that acquits white sin as fast as a white jury
and dances in self-absolution as if it’s the emperor’s clothes.
The world knows you are naked, white Jesus. Don’t blame Eve.

You are dying, white Jesus,
and still you cry, “I know not what I’ve done!”
while your prophets cajole, “You did nothing wrong, you
are white as snow.” But see: your blood drowns the world.

Someone come quickly
and comfort, comfort the white Jesus
who is lonely in stained glass and lifeless in praise bands
because the task of rendering racism sinless is his only purpose.

This time there is no resurrection.
It is finished, and your hallowed red letters
have returned to their dust, along with your integrity
as a cult god. Make friends with Baal and the golden calf.