Monday, December 19, 2011

What Can I Believe ( poem by Ted Loder)


This is a poem by Ted Loder in Guerrillas of Grace (Prayers for the Battle)

WHAT CAN I BELIEVE

O God, I am so fragile:
my dreams get broken,
my relationships get broken,
my heart gets broken,
my body gets broken.

What can I believe,
except that you will not despise a broken heart,
that old and broken people shall yet dream dreams,
and that the lame shall leap for joy,
the blind see,
the deaf hear.

What can I believe,
except what Jesus taught:
that only what is first broken, like bread,
can be shared;
that only what is broken,
is open to your entry;
that old wineskins must be ripped open and replaced
if the wine of new life is to expand.

So, I believe, Lord;
help my unbelief
that I may have courage to keep trying
when I am tired,
and to keep wanting passionately
when I am found wanting.

O God, I am so frail:
my life spins like a top,
bounced about by the clumsy hands
of demands beyond my doing,
fanned by furies
at a pace but half a step from hysteria,
so much to do,
my days so few and fast-spent,
and I mostly unable to recall
what I am rushing after.


What can I believe,
except that beyond the limits
of my little prayers and careful creeds,
I am not meant for dust and darkness,
but for dancing life and silver starlight.


Help my unbelief that I may have courage
to dare to love the enemies
I have the integrity to make;
to care for little else
save my brothers and sisters of the human family;
to take time to be truly with them,
take time to see,
take time to speak,
take time to learn with them
before time takes us;
and to fear failure and death less
than the faithlessness
of not embracing love’s risks.


God, I am so frantic:
somehow I’ve lost my gentleness
in a flood of ambition,
lost my sense of wonder
in a maze of videos and computers,
lost my integrity
in a shuffle of commercial disguises,
lost my gratitude
in a swarm of criticisms and complaints,
lost my innocence
in a sea of betrayals and compromises.


What can I believe,
except that the touch of your mercy
will ease the anguish of my memory;
that the tug of your Spirit
will empower me to help carry now the burdens
I have loaded on the lives of others;
that the example of Jesus
will inspire me to find again my humanity.


So, I believe, Lord;
help my unbelief
that I may have courage
to cut free from what I have been
and gamble on what can be,
and on what you
might laughingly do
with trembling me
for your incredible world.

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