Listening (Lent 8)

Turn away from my prayers, O God,
but do not neglect to bend your ear
to the prayers of those who mourn.

Listen and be convicted, O LORD,
by the prayers of those to whom
the world is unjust and unforgiving.

Let your heart be broken
and healed again
by the prayers of children.

Hear with compassion the prayers
of the sick, of those living with chronic illness,
and of those with a terminal diagnosis.

Be ever near to the prisoner,
to the hungry and the poor,
and to the brokenhearted.

Blessed be the LORD, who saves us all.

Midnight on New Year’s

Would that I could escape this second, stretch out from the bubble that is this hour, and touch the hem of your robe there where you wade on the horizon, there where you watch the world go by out-of-sequence, there where you midwife death into birth and mourning into dancing, there where the soft shadows of yesterday’s dawn dance across your holy face with the blazing lights of tomorrow’s sunset. Would that I could be with you beyond time, without panic that joy is something to be lost, without fear that love is only a flower that fades, without despair that healing is beyond the reach of these days. Would that I could — but o! most Eternal God — if I cannot, then hide me in the hem of your robe until I see clearly the limits of the clock and the frailty of my faith.

on Ecclesiastes 3:11b

Blankie Prayers

Just the hem, O my God, just the hem.
Hide your face, turn your back even,
but let the hem of your robe linger
as a comfort through the long night.
Send your visions to one more gifted;
let another more foolish in faithfulness
glimpse the wonder of your wisdom;
for myself, nothing so glorious but
the sight of a stitch in your hem.
Would that I could catch its fibers
and with them knit a consolation
to bind up every aching heart
and bring peace to my own.
One prayer, O God: your hem.

on Isaiah 6:1

Third Sunday in Lent (Ephemeral)

A wisp of wind, a passing moment, a grace note:
let me be glad just to have known it
grateful for the warm breath on my cheek
for the caring space between words for
the music which cannot be held.
At your invitation, O God, I will
be still and savor this life that is
so poignantly temporary
this sonata that builds and fades
like the moon in its
waxing and waning
never meant to remain
only meant for joy
only meant for tears.
One suspension of time,
one fleeting breeze
one kiss on my cheek
and my soul will be satisfied
for a lifetime
even if, O God,
you never draw near again
I will be glad.