Exorcising Racism

Would that demons
could be sweet-talked
into release,
that the
perfect petition
correct niceties
best biblical treatise
purest sacrifice
would send them
fleeing over the cliffs.
Then the President would sing,
then Bree would climb freely,
then the sweet by-and-by
would be now.
But no.
Wishfulness
has no place
in exorcism.
The demons rage
and threaten;
they set fire and
cast a haze of doubt
as to the smoldering;
they twist words,
contort understanding,
hide behind good intentions;
they distract from their own exorcism
by perpetuating the need for triage
requiring that the anointing oil
the balm of gilead
be passed frantically
precious drop after drop
blood and oil both too costly.
Who can heal in order to fight
if the wounds are
unceasing?
Yet by the grace of God
the wounded stand and
command exorcism.
Yet by the grace of God
the oil multiplies to heal
another life, another day.
Now let the sweet-talkers
find their legs instead of their tongues.
Let the peacemakers and pacifiers
resign their anointing and strain their backs
in the picking and pressing of olives
for a new oil of healing.
Let the doubters abandon the hubris of proof
and with humility attend to the wounds
prioritize that sacred balm
where it is most needed
not where it is most sanitized.
Let our words blush and our actions falter
that do any less than drive out demons
and carry God’s fullest healing.

Elisha’s Prayer

I pray a double portion of spirit
and again another
for the days are long
and the nights
drenched with tears
too many mothers
weeping
too many men
raging
and spirit is needed
to keep my ears open, my eyes
unblinded, my heart
broken
A double portion I pray
for the spirit
to speak truth
double again
to live into
love’s impossibility
and hope’s imagination

Exodus 12

Thus says the LORD:

This is the beginning.

It shall have the look
of death —
you will see blood
and hear screams
as you scurry
to do the last things
the final preparations
that come with death.

But be not afraid.
This is the beginning.

Hush your children
from crying as you wait
for the new day.
Gird your loins against
regret and longing
for you cannot go back
once I move
forward.

Put on your sandals.
This is the beginning.

Train your tongue
to savor bitter herbs.
Learn to kindle a fire
in the desert,
and to find your way
in the dead of night.
Prepare to run
and leave a blessing behind.

This is only the beginning.

Lent 26: Let There Be

We cannot
(I cannot)
face this day
without your help.
There is too much
suffering, too much
violence, too much
pain unanswered,
too much chaos,
too much, far
too much
like the earliest
days of creation
when all was
disarray,
tumult,
and God
had to create
space and order
just so that life could
gasp into being without
accidentally gulping in
water instead of
fresh air. But
even with
Day and
Night,
Sun and
Moon and Earth
set each in its place
to give order to this life,
even so, we choose
chaos. God gave
wholeness,
God created
life blessing life
but we prefer the
violence of breaking
and the self-defining thrill
of life cursing life.
It is too much.
Too much.
I would rather hide.
Close my ears.
Close the
door.
Curl up and
watch TV reruns.
Let me hear a whisper
of the joyful tune sung by
the Earth and Moon and Sun
of their deep satisfaction in being,
their love of partnering through the heavens
for the sake of Day and Night and Oceans
and Stars and Seasons and All Life.
They harmonize for
life while we
rage
for life.
I cannot
keep raging
nor keep racing
to secure
my place in life.
(To be sure, I likely
will and I will return to
this prayer in confession.)
But today I step in faith
trusting that we were
not created for
chaos. I was
not made
for chaos.
We were breathed
into being within the spaces
of harmony, within the cosmic song
that praises God’s faithfulness
and conducts each singer
in concerted blessing.
We were made
to join
the Sun
Moon, Stars,
Earth and Ocean
in exultant song!
Today, O God,
is too much
but you
YOU
are enough.
You are enough and I
am adequate to participate
in your wholeness,
your blessing.
Embolden me
— us —
to choose
enough.

Sunday Prayer

Our praise and prayers, our hopes and heartaches
are found in the shadow of your love, O God.
We come to you to see who we are and
to catch a vision of who we may become.
It’s too easy to listen to news, to look in mirrors,
and to resign ourselves to the belief that this world
looks nothing like you, that humanity looks nothing like you.
But you — O God of the galaxies, God of the ancestors,
God of the cross and God of the empty tomb —
you have worked too hard on love
for us to fail to see ourselves in your image
for us to fail to live into the image of beloved community.
We pray for the joyful freedom to know to our core
and to proclaim to the farthest reaches
your goodness and mercy.
Let the assurance of your love
be the foundation of reconciliation
and justice for all people. Amen and amen.

Cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals.