Friday, April 22, 2011

Guerrillas of Grace

The following is a poem and prayer from author and retired minister Ted Loder. I stumbled upon it in a book that my Bible study group is reading. When I read a book for group, I usually will make a pencil mark in the margin of things that catch my eye and make me think or cry or laugh. Yet I had not marked anything by this poem. I guess it did not make an impression upon me at the time or place I was doing my reading. Yet when we read it aloud in group, a wave of emotions rushed over my sea wall and filled me. This is the good stuff. I clearly had passed over a valuable gem buried just beneath the surface. I felt that I just had to share it. This piece comes from Loder's volume called Guerrillas of Grace.

How shall I pray?
Are tears prayers, Lord?
Are screams prayers,
   or groans
      or sighs
         or curses?

Can trembling hands be lifted to you,
   or clenched fists
      or the cold sweat that trickles down my back
         or the cramps that knot my stomach?

Will you accept my prayers, Lord,
   my real prayers,
      rooted in the muck and mud and rock of my life,
and not just the poetry, cut-flower, gracefully arranged
bouquet of words?
Will you accept me, Lord,
   as I really am,
      messed up mixture of glory and grime?