Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Poem For Lent

The author of this blog is an unapologetic Christian. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season called Lent that is the anticipation of the Holy Week and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ--Easter. So in honor of Lent--a time in the Christian calender often taken for some spiritual assessment and consideration--is this piece by Ted Loder from the book Guerrillas of Grace. As is frequently the case, a tip of the cap to my friend John who is a frequent pointer to this sort of material. You might find yourself challenged, irritated, worshipful while reading this. That meant you read it with thoughtfulness. Well done.

Catch me in my anxious scurrying, Lord,
and hold me in this Lenten season:
hold my feet to the fire of your grace
and make me attentive to my mortality that I may begin to die now
to those things that keep me
from living with you
and with my neighbors on this earth;
to grudges and indifference,
to certainties that smother possibilities,
to my fascination with false securities,
to my addiction to sweatless dreams,
to my arrogant insistence on how it has to be;
to my corrosive fear of dying someday
which eats away the wonder of living this day,
and the adventure of losing my life
in order to find it in you.

Catch me in my aimless scurrying, Lord,
and hold me in this Lenten season;
hold my heart to the beat of your grace
and create in me a resting place,
a kneeling place,
a tip-toe place
where I can recover from the dis-ease of my
which fill my mind and calendar with busy
that I may become vulnerable enough
to dare intimacy with the familiar,
to listen cup-eared for your summons,
and to watch squint-eyed for your crooked finger
in the crying of a child,
in the hunger of the street people,
in the fear of nuclear holocaust in all people,
in the rage of those oppressed because of sex
or race,
in the smoldering resentments of exploited
third world nations,
in the sullen apathy of the poor and the
ghetto-strangled people,
in my lonely doubts and limping
and somehow,
during this season of sacrifice,
enable me to sacrifice time
and possessions
and securities,
to do something…
something about what I see,
something to turn the water of my words
into the wine of will and risk,
into the bread of blood and blisters,
into the blessedness of deed,
of a cross picked up,
a savior followed.

Catch me in my mindless scurrying, Lord,
and hold me in this Lenten season:
hold my spirit to the beacon of your grace
and grant me light enough to walk boldly,
to feel passionately,
to love aggressively;
grant me peace enough to want more,
to work for more,
and to submit to nothing less,
and to fear only you…
only you!
Bequeath me not becalmed seas,
slack sails and premature benedictions,
but breath into me a torment,
storm enough to make within myself
and from myself,
something new,
something saving,
something true,
a gladness of heart,
a pitch for a song in the storm,
a word of praise lived,
a gratitude shared,
a cross dared,
a joy received.

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