Exploding

What is prayer?
What is practicing the presence of God?
How is my life prayer?
How is it not?

What is there even to say
about this unbelievable time?

Everything is exploding.
We are losing people to a virus.
We are losing people to racism.
I can only look at the big picture for so long
before I feel myself starting to stiffen,
to lose attention –
but I must pay attention.
We are losing people.

It does not interest me
to read how other people are coping.
It just makes me feel bad.
The nuances of my life, of my household,
are not the same as yours.
What works for you may not work for me,
and time is so short.
Never has comparison been the thief of joy more
than as we try to outdo each other on social media
in our ability to cope with the fallout
of a global pandemic
and national sanctioned violence.

Some of us were raised in Sunday School
learning that Jesus loves the little children.
This is either true or it’s a lie,
and if it’s true,
(and it is),
then what the absolute hell are we doing to each other?

I almost never pray like I used to,
and yet I feel like I’m praying almost all the time,
asking for guidance, asking for patience,
asking to be reminded
to not forget God.

Not forgetting God is important.
Spiritual disciplines are vital.
I want them,
and I want to want them.
It may be, though, right now,
that God is what I’m swimming in,
and the reason I cannot see God
is the same reason you don’t see the water
when you are snorkeling –
the water is ubiquitous,
so what you see is what’s in the water –
all the beautiful and alarming things
you were never able to see before.

***
We are in a season
of intense striving.

May God be what we swim in.
May we notice what is beautiful.
May we ceaselessly work
to change what is alarming
in order to make the world safe for all the children Jesus loves.
And may we practice exorbitant, extravagant kindness
towards each other and ourselves
as we live through this unprecedented,
unnerving,
unquestionably holy
time.


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