To choose the places where there is hatred, wrong, discord, error, doubt, despair, shadows, sadness;
To forego relief, recognition, affirmation, self-interest, and the restitution I’m owed;
What kind of life is this? What kind of prayer is this?
In praying this prayer through Lent, I learned that comprehending the final line, on this side of Easter, allows the heart to attend to the rest of it.
Love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, joy –
I can fight for my life to have these things. And I do, don’t I?
But satisfaction is slippery once off the hook. And no apology can bring back what’s lost. And death, O, death.
This prayer, shining in the brightness of Monday after resurrection, becomes possible.
If death is defeated, if I stand on the free side of that uncertain hope, there can be enough life to hold mine loosely.
In my release from shame’s finality, I can release others bound to what I thought it would take for me to be ok.
In ending my struggle to fill all the cracks, to retain all the self Me can hold,
I discover I was not a poorly built bucket,
but a channel in need of some clearing,
with one end in Easter’s eternity
and the other –
love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, joy –
just where it is needed
in time for Pentecost.