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Berkeley / Los Angeles / Ireland

Tennis Volley

by Ward Stothers

Lord, we turn away our minds
In a frozen fear
From pictures of cinder blocks
Gracing the air 
Sailing in slow motion,
Not building houses—
Crushing Lebanese skulls and Israeli souls
From rockets now mailed to Beirut
Whose citizens turn round in circles to escape somewhere.

“Healer of All Nations”—Help your people urge our country
Which cares for the Moon and Mars,
To explode with the reality, that
Both Israelies and Palestinians—and Lebanese
Maybe not knowing, are still—
Made in your image--human
And worth living with
As well as dying for.
God, That is what you told us, and they are those
As well as we, You present for life.
Help us help them,

And remind us, locally, to conduct our own church in Oakland
With holy Truth and far-deep Love, behind Your march, but
Never as a tennis match
With hard services to score a point
 Hitting angry aces skipping past peopled endlines
Massing solo baseline returns, doing it My way
And soft, unexpected lobs skirting the net of grace and harmony,
Keeping score, disinterested and inconsequentially
Twenty-love, thirty-love, forty-love,
What person, so what, who cares.

Let’s call it Game and rather do it Your way, O God,
Refreshed with Shalom and Aloha
With wholesome, whole life volleys
Shaking hands,  giving hugs
Match point, as we live the love for and with each other,
Sensing the crisp endowment of unseen joy,
Recommending to the world the reality and rule of Jesus, our Savior.
August Giver, Swab of Healing,
Guest for our Emptiness,
God for our Lives.
Under our feet, where the dust lives,
In Beirut. In Oakland.

Copyright © 2004 Ward Stothers