The prophet cries
Till the prophet’s cry
Is silenced by those
The prophet acts
Till the prophet’s act
Is halted by those
The prophet dies
Then the prophet’s die
Is cast – aside –
Or lives to abide
Where the true self
Need never, ever hide.
O Jerusalem! O Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and stone the messengers who are sent to you. How often I wanted to gather in your children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing to come to Me.
Luke 13:34 The Voice
“Dragon history is always oral history. The written word is so final, so set. Yes, people argue about it but in the end, their arguments are all about interpretation. The spoken word remains alive, writhing, and twisting forever.”
One of the Hazanim
When my brothers and sisters in the faith (and a daughter by blood among them) come together in just a few weeks in Portland, there will be much that has been read and even more that will be said. I know that many prayers are being shared for this holy gathering of people who must worry about words. I only hope the one I add is read by a few, spoken by more, and heard by the only One that matters.
A Prayer for Portland 2016
Gathered from scattered gatherings of the very same clan
They flock and nest in one place for weeks.
To reproduce? To create? To be recreated?
To hold fast? To change? To paint a brighter future?
No one knows what will really happen but my prayer is this:
Let your words, whatever words you share,
even the ones in the deepest, darkest corners,
of the unseen places of your heart, be words of life.
Speak those words to life and let all others die the death of the Accuser.
Leave as one, returning to places where clans gather
To share One,
To offer recreation,
To hold fast,
To speak a brighter future into existence
with words that cannot fail.
Leave as one…to hope.
Stronger than stones that seek to silence
is the power of a single word:
or even scratched into the shifting sand.
At the counter I watch,
I watch as hands move items across strange red eyes that see only white and black.
To whom do these hands belong?
Who cherishes their touch and longs for their presence?
What do these hands cherish and loath?
What treasure lies within the one who works that moment to serve me?
Eyes that could see more meet across this altar of commerce.
Words fly by another from each field of dreams:
“How are you today?”
“Fine. And you?”
Are they words that seek depth – words that plow the soil between two treasures buried in self?
I think not. I know not.
Of course there are times my words become great instruments of digging.
They plow through the air to till the soul of another.
My words – known and named by me as “Truth” – are used to bury deeper
a treasure that could be mine
that could be the worlds
that is the Kingdom of God in another.
Those rare and holy moments where Another
breathes and moves through me
to allow the stranger to become the friend
to allow those who know a Truth different than mine
to be truly heard and deeply loved
seem, oh, so few.
yet they cover me with a joy I could not know
if I grasp the pitiful field that I call me.
Hidden treasure is not cheap.
It costs me, me.
Inspired by Matthew 13:44-46
there are things that cut so deep
my body is in need of the healing power of stitches.
A knife slips while slicing onions,
and my watery eyes do not take note
of the quick movement
towards the taut, stretched skin of my finger.
Off to the healers for stiches.
Occasionally, words cut…
cut through the roughness and toughness
of my calloused exterior.
They find their way – these cutting, ripping words –
to a place deep inside
slipping inside my psyche
twisting in the depths of my soul.
A tongue slips during a time of greeting
to lodge an “observation”
about sloppiness and lack of attention
That tongue slices through
my taunt, stretched smile
and lays bare the nerves that lie deep within.
Blood collects on my own bitten tongue
Off to the healers…for stitches.
“Thank you for offering kind words to my friend…”
“Thank you for checking on us and caring for us…”
“Thank you for sharing your story…”
“It’s nice to know we have a pastor who truly is human…”
“I love you, Daddy.”
©2014, Scott Sears
Inspired by www.pray-as-you-go.org and John 5:1-3, 5-16 (NRSVA)