Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday Prayer for 11/26/13: Beat

(Inspired by Isaiah 2:1-5)

We have beat the ploughshares into 
swords and
coal-carrying trains and
missile-firing drones and
pollution-belching smoke stacks and

We have beat our pruning hooks into
spears and
life-disrupting mobile this or thats and
earth-ravishing chemicals and
ever-meaningless coins and

We have beat our people into
defeated-depression and
soul-crushing submission and
life-devaluing objects and
prescription-enhanced servants and

the earth itself feels the weight of every step and
the sky itself has become weighted and
hope feels more and more like an advertising slogan and less like something that is


It is, though, 

"something that is real.”


Because there is a difference between being "beat" and "beaten" and
THIS is the difference 
that makes every oligarch shudder and
every abuser worry and
and every oppressor wake
in the middle of the night
in a 



There are arms out there strong enough to beat those swords into ploughshares.
There are feet out there strong enough to stomp those spears into pruning hooks.
There are backs strong enough to break chains and
Those people who have been beat?

They have not been beaten 

and they can beat


(beat beat

beat beat

beat beat

beat beat…)
(From http://www.rootforce.org/2008/06/19/peru-turmoil-slams-copper-supplies/)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Prayer for 11/12/13: Storm's Rage

(All photos of the Philippines, pre-Typhoon Haiyan,  by Frederica Helmiere)

Inspired by Isaiah 65:17-25

Dear God:

When storms rage,
When towns are swept away,
When children suffer,
it is hard
to believe

When our hearts rage,
When serenity is swept away,
When confidence suffers,
it is hard
to believe

How will we appreciate
this “new heaven?”
How will we appreciate
this “new earth?”


we haven’t

figured out how

to appreciate

this one?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday Prayer for 11/5/13: Cutting Teeth

Tuesday Prayer for 11/5/13

Inspired by Psalm 145

Dear God:

These sounds of early morning teething and reading the Psalms seem to go together.  The sounds of wailing and gnashing of, well, gums seems to match the sorrow and the pain in these songs.  My son has not had pain quite like this before.  It is not something I know but something that there are only deep memories of.  When I hear him cry, it seems like this is a flaw in our creation.  Our bodies seem to rebel against themselves to do something normal.  It is bone slowly cutting through flesh.

And billions of people have all gone through this.  And millions of other parents are thinking similar things…


I was once told that you really can’t pray the Psalms until after you turn thirty.
The pain and reality you thought might be passing you begin to realize
is permanent
and real
and cumulative.
It takes awhile to really get 
Psalm weary and
Psalm angry and
Psalm tired and
Psalm frustrated.

It takes awhile to get
Psalm desperate.

“God fulfills the desire of all who fear God;
    God also hears their cry, and saves them.

God watches over all who love God,
    but will destroy all the wicked.”

These are strange prayers and I pray them.
These are strange songs and sing them.

I do not always believe in the kind of G-d that they call for but
There are days I pretend to and
On those days,

I am comforted.