Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lord, Have Mercy. Christ, Have Mercy.

This week began as my first full week serving a church filled with amazing people.

  I've been doing a lot of listening.  I've been doing a lot of praying.  I've been trying to get my office organized, catch up on sermon planning, meet tons of new people, provide opportunities for fun for 2 girls, and keep everything--everything up.  

Every day I have no idea how the day finished already.  
Each day has been full and usually 12-14 hours of non stop work.  
God is in it all.  But I've been tired at the end of each day.  Exhausted. 

I am barely getting "it all done" (really-- not at all)  and I have not kept up with the world.  
I see updates on my phone and I breathe and pray and keep going and later... I lay in bed at 1 and 2 am after the day's work is done(or at least stopped) I read about the atrocities in the world with my heart breaking.  
And I fall asleep praying.  
  Knowing God is real and here in the world. 
   Knowing God doesn't get exhausted like I do.
And I pray. Lord, Have Mercy. Christ, Have Mercy.

That's all I've got. For now.  And I just have to let it be enough. 
My prayers are enough.,.for now.   
I haven't been making speeches or writing great blogs - I have amazing friends who are doing this needed and prophetic work.  But all I could do in this week was pray-- and keep being there for my church in this new time. 

I pray. 

I pray about what I know and I pray about all I don't know. 

I haven't cried this week about the injustices of this world because I haven't let myself feel it all. 
I'm not trying to be numb.... I have just felt so much already. 

In a new appointment - I feel like a sponge- and I am soaking it all in..... and I just have no more room.  

But.... I can't not know--- I can't not care.  I can't not feel. 

But I just can't respond to it all right now. 

It doesn't mean I don't care. 
It doesn't mean my silence is a condoning of injustice. 
It just means- I'm doing all I can right now.  

My prayers are not any less real when they aren't posted on Facebook. 

And yet- as a pastor- as a public theologian- I have a responsibility to lead, to bear witness, to equip, to encourage, to speak out, to call out injustice, to comfort the broken, and to always, always, always share the good news. 

So today- finally on the first Sabbath day I've had-- I let my focus be on uninterrupted time time with my husband.  I really needed it.  I am so thankful for him.  We caught up on the week and on what we've been feeling and thinking.  And together we caught up on the world and the news.  And then I gave myself some silence from the world.  

And now I have the energy to respond publicly-- rather than in the late night silence after my exhaustion, but now from a place of Sabbath renewal. 

And now.... now I weep. 

With my newfound energy from this day-- I weep. 

Tears and prayers and anger and fear and sadness and hope and worry and tears and prayers and no words—no words—and no words are adequate.

I pray for Alton Sterling.
I pray for Philando Castile.
I pray for the five officers who lost their lives in senseless violence protecting their community:
Brent Thompson
Patrick Zamarripa
Michael Krol
Michael Smith
Lorne Ahrens

I pray and I pray and I pray.
And often my prayers are wordless-because I have no words and I need no words—for the Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

I pray.
I am praying for a day when fear no longer rules.
           For the day when peace reigns.
           For the day when love is our primary response.

  I am praying for an end to violence,
      For hope to invade.
      For compassion to lead.
      For love to ignite every heart.

I am praying for our prayers to turn into changed hearts, opened minds, and a transformed world. 
I am praying for our prayers to create conversations where there is now chaos. 
I am praying for our prayers to turn confusion into clarity. 
I am praying for our prayers to turn prejudice into peace. 

Please pray with me and for me.
Pray I can be present for all the people I need and want to be present for.
Pray I will rest when I need to rest.
Pray I will do what I need to do when I need to do it.
Pray I will listen when I need to listen and speak when I need to speak.
Pray that this Sunday I will have the courage to lead as God is calling me to lead.



MikeThePastor said...

Yes, good thoughts amid troubling times. Blessings in your new charge.

MikeThePastor said...

Yes, good thoughts amid troubling times. Blessings in your new charge.