Yesterday, along with our ministry of music, I offered a session called, "Prayer, poetry, and praise". In addition, to what I think is a very clever use of alliteration, those three words are also synonyms. Poetry is often prayer to me. Poetry, one poet said, is 'The language from which we have no defense.' Words that challenge and convict us in the best meaning of that. Here is a poem by Bonnie Thurston that has been sitting as a prayer for me recently:
We scrabble to fill the world with noise:
relentlessly grinding intellect,
perpetually moving tongue,
electronic racket our grandparents couldn’t imagine.
If you are quiet,
strive for inner stillness,
waste few words, many will think you mad.
You will hear within
the vast emptiness which they fear.
In the beginning,
made everything from darkness and silence.
emerges in your empty spaces,
might be a full moon on your darkest night.
* Ein Sof is a Kabbalist term meaning ‘no limit’ or ‘infinity’.
I invite you to re-read these words..
pause at the end of each line...
taste the words melting...
see which one lingers with sweetness...
which words taste bitter.
I invite you to pray these words outloud...
where do you emphasize...
where do you whisper lest you hear the too harsh honesty you are saying
I invite you to let these words be praise ~ celebration ~ on this Friday.
Together ~ poetry and prayer and praise ~ might all stew together at once within you.
Grace and peace and love ~~