A Monday Morning Prayer

I’m waking up today in the relative quiet of our rented home.
The sky is blue with a few clouds slowly drifting by.
The windows are open. I’ve heard seven distinct bird calls –
   there’s a crow and a jay
   but I can’t name most them by their chirps,
   yet, you know them.
There is a cricket, too –
   no, wait; it’s not a cricket, it’s some other small insect
   declaring its presence
   above the background noise of a squirrel chattering
   as if something has just caught its attention for the first time.
An occasional car or two meanders past our house,
otherwise the hustle and bustle of the world around me this morning
comes from the stirring of your creation. 
I pray that I might have eyes to see and ears to hear
the goodness of your creation today.
Yet, I must admit,
that prayer seems daunting, almost impossible.
I’ve seen the news already this morning. I’ve followed the reports of
   missing people
   planes in San Francisco and Alaska 
   a train in Quebec
   violence in the fear of and yearning for freedom in Egypt
   markets reacting to speculative uncertainties
   politicized rancor over marriage, abortion, and voting rights
   the debauchery and self-indulging character of some elected officials 
All the while trying to avoid
   the racism broadcasted as reality and promoted as newsworthy
   or the cheap gossip about the antics and the children of the famous
   or the voyeuristic repulsion with which
         we create celebrities out of the wicked.
And while I give you thanks for the tranquil start to my day,
I lament
   at how we use each other and co-opt your creation for selfish gain
   at how we seek our well being through degrading and killing others
   at how we find pleasure in gossip
   at how we justify our choices because of what others have done to us
   at how we take comfort in knowing that other have done worse.
Have mercy upon us.  
But none of this is news to you. 
Your eyes have seen and your ears have heard
   spilled blood soaking the dust from which you fashioned us
   vitriolic curses called down with the breaths and voices you entrusted to us
   resources stolen, marketed, and sold as if your stewards were owners
   women, children, and immigrants abused neglected and rejected
        as if you had created them deficient.
You are familiar with all our ways.
You entered this brokenness, our brokenness
and made it your own. 
You suffered. You died at our hands. 
I wonder as we pounded those nails into you,
could you still look at all you had made and call us ‘very good’? 
Somehow you must have. You must see more than we do.
You came back to life –
   this life, with body and breath and appetite,
   still prone to our corruption of all three – 
and you offered a new life, no longer constrained by an end of inevitable decay
   or entangled in corruption pursuing temporary survival and success,
and you set about the seemingly daunting task of making all things new
with a promise that one day all of your creation, 
   even we who have ransacked all that you have made,
will flourish.
I know we’re not there yet,
I only need
   feel my face contort when I don’t get my way
   listen to my I’m-more-important-than-you-so-don’t-interrupt-me tones
   count the hours I have sat on my couch watching, surfing, playing
to know that the flourishing has not yet come.
Perhaps, we will only taste little morsels and see brief glimpses
of what is to come –
   and I even wonder if we will recognize them when you give them – 
Yet, you know them.
So, I pray that you would give all of us
   you would give me
eyes to see and ears to hear how
all that you have created might flourish,
and how we
   how I
might participate in the life that you are recreating
even here, even now. 
In Jesus Christ and through the Spirit, I pray. Amen.  

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Filed under missional church, prayer

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