Prayer in Difficult Times

Prayer in Difficult Times

Holy God!
You are our God,
there is no Other —

always and eternally
we give thanks to You
and sing happy hymns.

But what about
those times
when life turns inside out,

when the world
seems nasty, brutish,
and short?

It’s nothing we have done,
there’s nothing we can do,
but clench our teeth and pray.

We look to the Lord:
to Jesus who died upon the cross,
knowing scorn, suffering, and grief;

yet what we really need
is a companion who
can go through fire and water.

Who can withstand those days,
tolerate those events and sorrows
that challenge our faith —

for which we are utterly unprepared;

unbearable —
goddamn it.

Oh my!
Who said that?
Not I, surely!

Those aren’t the words
of a faithful,
good and true believer,

possessed of all those
famous Christian graces:
especially the bit about “long-suffering”:

patient and uncomplaining;
accepting everything
as God’s perfect will.

Except …
no one knows for certain
if it is God’s perfect will.

It might be a glitch
in the divine wiring,
a celestial misfire;

or a blessing so complex,
so intricate and deep
it is hidden from our sight.

The Lord himself cried
in agony upon the cross,
“My God! Why have You forsaken me?”

So I’m in good company
when I kick and complain
and curse.

Holy God!
It is You,
there is no Other —

no one else to blame,
no one else to cry to,
no one else to shout at.

And so I lift up my voice,
and describe to You
in unequivocal terms

how miserable,
just plain ratty
I feel.

I will say these things out loud,
I will speak my truth to You

because You are my God;
there is no other —
no one else can heal,
and sustain.

No one else cares as deeply,
loves as abundantly,
understands as completely.

There is only You,
You are my God;
there is no other.


Deborah Beach Giordano
© February 11, 2010

About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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