The Flickering Image

The Flickering Image

Deborah Beach Giordano
© January 20, 2011

This was inspired by several recent conversations about the general tone of what we consider entertainment – and the ways in which that attitude is emulated throughout our culture.

Radiant Lord,
give sight to my people,
who have become blind
to the beauty of Your earth; 

Merciful God,
give ears to my people
who have become deaf
to the tender ballads
You sing to us each day;

Loving Creator,
put new hearts in my people,
for they have turned
to stone.

In innocence
and ignorance
they have come under the spell
of the god
whose ever-glowing altar
has been erected
in every living room;

the master manipulator
worshiped in dark,
crowded rooms
within grand temples
adorned with neon lights
to which the awestruck
faithful flock.

Supported
by sycophants
adored
by profiteers,
its sinister message
is recited
in endless variation:

a world-denying
hope-destroying
demand for conformity
and giddy celebration
of consuming greed,
violence and envy.

So much a part
of their daily routine,
so accustomed
to its presence,
your benumbed
and dazzled children
are utterly unaware
of its power
to determine all
that they work for,
dream of,
and believe.

Have mercy, my Lord,
on my sad
and suffering people.

They have forgotten
how to smile;
true joy is a lost fantasy –
a notion set aside long-ago –
yet they are always ready
to laugh at others’ failings,
to scorn and snicker
at the weak and unique,

They belittle all
who follow a different path,
and mock and demean
the ones who dare
to try,
to strive,
to dream,
or reach out
to help or heal.

Their mouths are filled
with sarcasm and contempt;
they have no words of praise
or encouragement:
cutting remarks and condemnation
are the only language
they’ve come to know.

Restore the health of my people,
Eternal God,
for they have become
poisoned by cynicism,
hardened by hatred,
and impervious to brutality;

hypnotized
by the shadows
on the walls
they find violence
entertaining,
vengeance
a goal,
and
vulnerability
a cruel joke.

Under the rule
of the demon king
even the graceful magic
of the dance
is twisted
into agonizing,
self-mutilating
madness

and the soaring music
that gave our souls wings
turned into
a rasping
screech
of pain.

Save us,
Holy Redeemer,
from the darkness
devoid of Light;

rescue us
from the Betrayer
who sows
only seeds
of misery
and despair.

Lift our thoughts,
O Heavenly King,
to the beautiful and good,
the noble and the true,

restore our belief
in happiness,
in kindness,
in compassion,
grace
and mercy;

Open our eyes,
Most Loving Teacher,
that we may see
the wonders
that surround us
and show us
how to take delight
in simple things;

Give us
the gift of joy:
let us laugh freely,
forgive generously,
and love extravagantly;

For You,
Blessed Savior,
are the True Light
that Illuminates
All life.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. ~ John 1:1-5

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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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