Tuesday, June 6, 2006

TO BELIEVE IN BEGINNINGS

Ted Loder pours his soul into a collection of prayers titled Guerrillas of Grace (Philadelphia: Innisfree Press, 1984). The following prayer is a courageous one for what it confesses and dares to hope. I make it my prayer today and hope it resonates with others.

God of history and of my heart,
so much has happened to me during these whirlwind days:
I’ve known death and birth;
I’ve been brave and scared;
I’ve hurt, I’ve helped;
I’ve been honest, I’ve lied;
I’ve destroyed, I’ve created;
I’ve been with people, I’ve been lonely;
I’ve decided, I’ve waffled;
I’ve laughed and I’ve cried.
You know my frail heart and my frayed history --
and now another day begins.

O God, help me to believe in beginnings
and in my beginning again,
no matter how often I’ve failed before.

Help me to make beginnings:
to begin going out of my weary mind
into fresh dreams,
daring to make my own bold tracks
in the land of now;
to begin forgiving
that I may experience mercy;
to begin questioning the unquestionable
that I may know truth;
to begin disciplining
that I may create beauty;
to begin sacrificing
that I may accomplish justice;
to begin risking
that I may make peace;
to begin loving
that I may realize joy.

Help me to be a beginning for others,
to be a singer to the songless,
a storyteller to the aimless,
a befriender of the friendless;
to become a beginning of hope for the despairing,
of assurance for the doubting,
of reconciliation for the divided;
to become a beginning of freedom for the oppressed,
of comfort for the sorrowing,
of friendship for the forgotten;
to become a beginning of beauty for the forlorn,
of sweetness for the soured,
of gentleness for the angry,
of wholeness for the broken,
of peace for the frightened and violent of the earth.

Help me to believe in beginnings,
to make a beginning,
to be a beginning.
so that I may not just grow old,
but grow new
each day of this wild, amazing life
you call me to live
with the passion of Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Dear John,

    I'm a sucker for all this stuff you write and pass along to us. I had a brief internship at FUMCOG (Ted Loder's church) in 1984. And even took some folks from Broadway here in 1988 to visit it. That prayer speaks of the whimsy and steadfastness of the gospel and of that place... Celeste Zappala who has been in the news over the past year as one of the outspoken mothers who has lost a son in Iraq, came out of that congregation and often spoke to me of the faith that Ted encouraged in her (as a single, struggling mother) and in that congregation. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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