Saturday, October 03, 2009

Come to Our Shut Down Places

I have loved, for a time now, the story of Hannah. There are so many secrets wonders in that story, the first chapters or so of 1 Samuel, that Jesus has whispered to me.

Just now, on a day that has been hard and full of tears as I faced some realities about myself again, after a week that began in this impossibly deep space, and carried through many incredibly challenging moments of life and prayer, I read another prayer by Walter Bruggemann. A prayer that the book says he wrote after reading 1 Samuel 1. And somehow, this prayer is touching raw spots in my soul, and soothing just a little.

Come to Our Shut Down Places

It does not come easy to us to imagine that you
closed the womb of mother Hannah
and thereby foreclosed the future for a time.
And yet, we can name in your presence
a myriad of shut down places around us...
those shut down in poverty and despair,
those shut down in fear and in rage,
those shut down by abuse and violence,
too hurt to speak,
too frightened to appear,
too scarred to dance.
And closer, our own shut downs:
in anxiety, in resentment, in pretense,
too weary to care,
too greedy to share,
too much of us for neighbor.
Those are not all your doing, we confess.
But you are the God who opens all shut downs:
by your power, you give futures,
by your goodness, you give hope,
by your mercy, you make new.
So we bid you this day come to our shut down places
and give birth anew.
We pray through the Easter opening of the Friday shut downs.


I thankful that Jesus is a God who comes to the shut-down places. Because today, I need that. And today, I'm praying for that for so many I love. For birth anew, in the shut down places. For resurrections promises in moments that feel like Friday burials of all hope and joy.