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Berkeley / Los Angeles / Ireland


by Ward Stothers

God, we pray for all the prodigals on earth, who every family knows,
Who may be we.  Bless them, claim them, love them God.


Lord, gently and with your redemptive summon,
Remind us of the attitude
 We were cleansed and released from—
 Isolated, exclusive, defeated and despairing,
Chipped scarred, cracked and forlorn,
Full of oneness and crowned with me.

 You met us in our aimless turning
In circles, and out of control
Free from you, God, and immersed in self,
By your running in those condescending and grace bearing
Tennis shoes
That only the pursuing God wears
Collecting strayed sheep.

Slide the dimmer switch up, and show us again,
That we wear your attire
Advertising “made new” everywhere in public,
Within your valued, meaningful creation.

Use us for your mountains of glory, Great God,
In a message and offering of peace,
For all returning prodigals
Biting on their lip
And limping in unsettled faith.

O God, the One holding Hope,
Fill us with all joy and peace,
 In gaining vision from you,
So that we may abound in life,
By the power of the reconciling Spirit,
the One planting Faith on earth,

Remembering, Christ has changed the world;
Help us continue the charge, up those harrowing hills
 And down the steep slopes of alienation,
Bearing his name blissfully in this life
The One who is Love.


Copyright © 2003 Ward Stothers