Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Translate for Us" - A Prayer for Christian Unity

Our many voices ring out
Echoing in ornate marble cathedrals,
whispered between clapboards in country meadows,
plainly spoken among the inner city’s weathered brick.

We speak many languages, each from what we know best:
Kneeling or standing, heads bowed or hands raised;
Calling to you out of a vast catalogue of names;
Requests made in simple prose or carefully crafted verse;
However it is that we make sense of ourselves, of our lives, of you.

We hear one another and wonder,
with such unfamiliar dialects and accents;
beliefs strange and quirky;
experiences to be pitied or pushed aside;
how you could listen to them.

But you listen with the ears of grace and hear that we are each needy,
seeking wholeness,

Translate for us each others’ speech.
Help us hear, as you do, those sighs behind our words crying out
to be understood,
to receive justice,
to be seen as human,
to be your beloved,
to find our own missing pieces,
to make our own jagged edges smooth.

Point to those places underneath where our longings are the same,
and our hope is answered in each other
where you are the one speaking.