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Berkeley / Los Angeles / Ireland


by Ward Stothers

Lord God
When we pray for your World,
There’s so much involved and so many
To count.
Finger quick soldiers erase millions of objecting image bearers
And our eyes blink in wishing No,
And tear with regret
Over a mobile display of wartime technology
On parade, above the oil.

Do we close your ears of compassion jibing a “just war”
Then glorying in our take charge, first strike capability?

You know all six billion people in your world, God.
We’re all delicately woven in your image—
Have worth, cradle life,
Some calling you,
Most praying to any god who they idolatrously imagine
That their children need food, they need shoes,
Clothing, health, meaning, a friend and a family.
Thank you God for shouting about this in James.

How do you cater and hand out your love to us all,
Wandering and marauding sheep
In your pen fold called the World,
Who, would rather eat each other than share your blessing,
On a set schedule of history
At war tables of death and misery?

You are the only, Personal Being
In and beyond this universe,
Who only does what you say you will.
You are Trust and Promise,
Will and Word,
Whose theory and practice
Equal justice and mercy, always,
In one mix of concrete wholeness.
Who exudes love and serves care.
You multiply Wisdom.
Your thinking, even your ways,
Clear the paths with mystical certainty.
Your wealth has no decimal places
like the barns of Murdoch, Turner,
Ellison and Gates.

 Who you are, finds our needs;
You chased down the excommunicated
Man Born Blind,
Assuring him you would not and could not spell— orphan or left alone
Relationships is your created lasso and,
Just power in governance
Makes your total Trinity,
Delighted and dancing.

May we not miss your Invitation.
We don’t need you crying over Jerusalem again, Jesus
Saying you would have gathered us as children
If we had been willing;

Take all of us for your wholesome purposes.
Grant us prayerful arms to hold on during your ride.
Have mercy on your world in sin
And seed the fruitful, bearing and parenting:
Love, Justice, Compassion and Truth,
To gain ground on
Those iron horses of annihilation.

Forgive any leaders who know your name,
Love your wealth, twist and rewrite history,
Even your Gospel,
But are too busy
To learn the You beyond the forgiving breath.
Use us God, keep your  reputation, grant us life.
Make us authentic
Keep us vulnerable.
We want to change your world
Gathering up one piece of shattered life at a time,
Offering one cup of rest, all the time.
We love you, God
Who extends open arms
To a swollen, beaten humanity.
May we touch the healing
And know our God is Christ.

Copyright © 2005 Ward Stothers