Too Much

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Some days
It seems like
Too much to bear

Too much sickness
Too much dying
Too many stories of terror and sadness

How can I bear it.
These people I love
Are crazy with grief and fear.
This world I love
Has lost all sense and reason

I watch, I weep, I wait.
I wait for you to show up
With your healing,
Your comfort,
Your wisdom

Come quickly.
Please,
Come, soon.
Come

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

A Grain of Wheat

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Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
– John 12:24 (NRSV)

God of Justice
God of Mercy
Let me be that tiny grain

Grant me patience
In my waiting
Grant me courage
For the dying that must come

And, whether or not
I see the beauty of the golden field
Let me know deeply
Let me know truly
That I have served you well

I am yours

Ashes to Ashes

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I’ve never been that comfortable
With Ash Wednesday
With Lent
With self-examination and repentance
And being reminded of my mortality

But the one I follow was all about truth-telling
And justice
And righteousness
Rather than being comfortable

I am not that One
But I am made of clay and dust
Human to the core

May the ashes today
Remind me of my createdness
My calling to be who I am
Who I was crafted to be
Who I am becoming
As my heart, my mind, my clay is shaped
Molded by the Creator

I am yours, Loving God
Show me the way

Victory Is Ours

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I saw fear work its dark magic,
swirling into corners,
creeping through
cracks of doubt and uncertainty.

I saw its disabling effect …
confusion, division,
the disabling of
the previously strong and prophetic.

What has happened to us,
that we can be brought low,
immobilized by terror?

I went to sleep, exhausted,
hung over by the effects of
fear’s noxious fumes.

But I woke up
with the words of Desmond Tutu
in my heart and on my lips.

Good is stronger than evil;
love is stronger than hate;
light is stronger than darkness;
life is stronger than death.
Victory is ours,
through him who loves us.
– Desmond Tutu

God of Love. May it be so.
Help us, heal us,
fill us, use us.

Amen.

Platitudes

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“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Well meaning, but unhelpful words,
When you know you can’t handle what’s in front of you,
When you think you might actually die
This time.

God, help me,
I’ve been there before, on both ends
Of this conversation.

Next time
Let me be a quiet presence
A channel of love
A comforting touch,

And if I must talk,
Give me words through which you speak.

“I love you.”
“You are not alone.”
“You are held in God’s tender embrace.”

Bring comfort,
Bring healing,
Bring hope.

Let me be your heart,
Your hands,
Your presence.

I am yours.

On the Eve of a New Year

2013-12-27 16.20.28With gratitude for this day
for this year
for this life.

May I be open to memories,
good and bad,
celebrating the things
I have learned,
the love I have given,
the lives I have enriched.

And may I let go of
shortcomings I have discovered,
mistakes I have made,
the smallness of my heart.

Let me carry into the new year
only the things I must bring,
whether they be hopes or regrets,
joys or sorrows.
Help me shed what I can
before the new journey begins.

Walk with me in integrity,
in loving-kindness,
in hospitality,
in love.

May I be a friend,
a loving companion,
a blessing to those along the way.

I am yours.

Repairers of the Breach

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“If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.”
– Isaiah 58:12, The Message

Come, Spirit of Courage, creative Source of Healing. Amen.

Psalm for the Sunset

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Sunset at Kayak Point

Let my whole being bless the LORD!
LORD my God, how fantastic you are!

You are clothed in glory and grandeur!
You wear light like a robe;
you open the skies like a curtain.

You build your lofty house on the waters;
you make the clouds your chariot,
going around on the wings of the wind. . . .

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God
while I’m still alive. . . .

Let my whole being bless the LORD!
Praise the LORD!

– Psalm 104:1-3, 33, 35 (Common English Bible)


A Walk at sunset — Kayak Point near Marysville, WA. Photo by Beth A. Richardson