prayer time


    at our church means saying where
    it hurts, or who it hurts, out loud
    we call the names of those we love
    and those we know who are sick
    or dying or have lost someone or
    are just lost and our pastor tells us
    God is not waiting for her to repeat
    the requests — our joys and concerns
    do not require pastoral ventriloquy.

    today, in the midst of the litany of
    loss and light came a voice – a wise
    voice – of one who chooses her words
    and her moment well and she asked
    that we pray for our country because
    we seem to have forgotten how to be
    respectful to one another and I thought
    wait a minute she’s praying for God
    to change us and for us to be willing

    to change, to let go of the need to be
    right or important or right and to
    listen and be kind as though the
    other one is as important as we think
    we are, as essential as we imagine
    ourselves, as valuable as we deem
    ourselves to be too many prayers
    like hers and, God help us, we might
    begin to think we could change.
    God help us.