Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Night: Trying to Figure out What to Say

This week I have been filled up with bad news.  Filled to the brim with sadness, with violence, with despair.  I keep reading stories about police violence and racism, about the despair of being hunted down because of your religion, about death by depression, about pain that does not go away.

And I want to say something.  I know God wants me to say something, too.  I am a preacher, and one of my jobs is to preach light in the darkness.  I want to point to God, and say, despite everything, God has not absconded with the goods.  

Not only that, there have been many essays written this week admonishing us (me) to Say Something. I do take it personally.  I feel like they are talking directly to me, even though I am not preaching this weekend.  They are saying:  Put on your Big Girl Pants and Get Out There and Preach.  Preach the reality of the world, and God's fierce presence in it.

This is where I started:

Sometimes I am rendered 
at the world.
just at the time
when I think the world
demands a word.

Tonight I am not in Ferguson, Missouri.
I am not fleeing persecution in Iraq.
I am not at the border where children wait.
I am not in Gaza, not in Israel, not in Syria.
I do not know the deep darkness of depression
from the inside out.

Lord, give me ears to hear
in humility
the stories of those who are there,
who live injustice,
who carry fear,
who long for life.

Help me bear witness
when the world demands
a word
and I am speechless.

Lord, make me an instrument
of your peace.


8thday said...

This is a beautiful prayer that I think captures the despair and frustration of many. Thank you.

However,I do believe that if you live in America, you also live in Ferguson. And if one doesn't think so, they either live way too comfortably, or they do not have their eyes open.

May we all be able to move from words to action and do our part to bring peace.

Diane Roth said...

I appreciate your comment, 8th Day. While I agree with you that we are all part of Ferguson, there is also a particularity to each of our community's struggles with racism as well.

8thday said...

Perhaps. But I still believe that what happened in Ferguson could happen in any of our communities, and to pretend otherwise is to stick one's head in the sand and hope the problem goes away on it's own.

Diane Roth said...

Certainly what happened in Ferguson could happen anywhere. I don't believe that the poem/prayer that I shared denies any of that. I appreciate your comments, and bringing that aspect of the reality to the fore.