For me, today was a good day. But my president is an old poet who has spent his life as a public servant. I sent a contract off in the post, the last formal step I needed to take before starting an amazing new job with these good people after I finish my PhD. I edited some journal articles on disability and religion. I drank whisky with my friends, many of them American, as their leaders gathered in their capital to appoint their new Commander in Chief.
It wasn’t a good day for many of my friends who are Americans. But one of them, DL Mayfield, has it right when she took herself off to pray. With that in mind, let me share with you a very good prayer written by Walter Bruggemann:
Your New Word amid Our Anxiety
(On Reading 1 Kings 2:1-9)
The promises roll off your lips
and into our ears:
I will be with you;
I will love you faithfully;
I will be your God;
My covenant is forever.
We count on your words that flow from our ears
to our hearts, and we are glad.
But even while we listen,
we live much of our lives underneath the table.
We read these old stories, and
we know about intrigue and fear and
anxiety and near violence
We mostly do not act out our violence
but we imagine and ponder and scheme;
and then we, too, must cover up
and the cover-up ferments;
our lives become complex and burdened.
We keep inventing ourselves and our underneath selves turn out
to be less than adequate
and we wish we were other than we are.
We juggle your good purposes and
our hidden yearnings and
try to serve two masters,
try to live two narratives,
try to live two dreams,
and we are weary.
Because we know our hearts of anxiety so well,
we seem fated to disease.
But because we know your heart of fidelity so well,
we know you will defeat our demons
and make us new.
We know about your abiding fidelity in
Jesus of Nazareth.
Give us patience and steadfastness as we
process the ragged edges of our lives.
Your Correspondent, Deep down he longs for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule him like a king.