Sunday, November 03, 2013

"The Cloud of Faces" - A Prayer for All Saints Sunday

(Based on Hebrews 12:1-2)

One of our favorite prayers is “I’ll do it myself.”

At daybreak and at eventide,
before meals and before sleep,
in crisis and in joy,
we say this prayer of individual empowerment
hoping we will keep on being convinced
that it is true.

And so life says “okay,” and it bears down:
deadlines creep closer;
financial demands loom larger;
health concerns are delayed;
emotions pushed ever inward;
expectations to do and be for others place us higher on pedestals
that we agree to build.

And then the marble of our perches flake and crumble.
We look down nervously; our arms flailing so we’ll remain steady.
The fall is hard, humiliating, humbling;
our self-prayer muffled and muted.

It is from our newfound prostrate position
that we look up and see the cloud of faces:
familiar, friendly, forgiving.

The cloud expands, and we see more:
Those in our mind’s eyes and in our spirits’ memories,
long gone, yet close as ever.

This cloud, draped around our shoulders and thick with love’s warmth envelopes us.
We notice it as for the first time,
infused with new energy
to do and be as beloved children
created and called by our own names.

Surrounded by grace,
our prayer changes
to “Please help,
and thanks.”