Wineskins Archive

February 10, 2014

A Prayer About Faith (Sep-Dec 2003)

Filed under: — @ 1:19 am and

By Thom Lemmons
Sep-Dec 2003

O, God . . .


We wander about down here, amid all this wreckage and confusion

            Hoping for hints of you;

            Glimpsing glory, just as it ducks around the corner

                        ahead of us;

            Eavesdropping on eternity, catching snatches

                        of the divine, like snippets of a chance conversation

                        between two strangers, not really intended for our ears.


            We survive on tidbits, it seems. Enough to keep going,

                        but not enough to satisfy.


Eternal one . . .


What we want, we think, is to follow the cloud by day,

            the pillar of fire by night;

            To hear your voice cracking down the mountain,

                        jarring the teeth in our heads,

                        driving us to our knees in fear, abject adoration—

                        a sure taste of you, if we could survive it.


We want to put our fingers in your wounds, and worship you in nowness of life,

            in present knowledge;

            like Didymus, twinning ourselves with your reality;

            To name you, and so name ourselves;

            To go out changed in a way the day-to-day enemy of our souls can’t rub out

                        or make us easily forget.


But, Lord . . .


If your stories are true, I have to wonder:

            Would we do any better with your undeniability

                        than those who were your eyewitnesses?

            Had we seen your consuming fire come down from a clear, blue sky,

                        Had we seen the blind seeing, taken a walk with the one who was lame just                                               this morning, and heard the good news first-hand,

            Would our memories be any longer than theirs?


Or would we, like them, turn away from the mirror’s blinding light, and forget?


            Would we, like some who saw Lazarus walking about in his burial clothes,

                        Plot his death, rather than face the fearful impossibility

                        of the life his second chance foretold?


Would we be any more brave than they? Or would we be the same?


My heart wants to believe—but my eyes still want to see.


Still… something deep in my soul hints that one day, in you, the two will, at last,

                        be united.

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