Saturday, June 7, 2014

What Can I Believe?

What Can I Believe?
By Ted Loder

O God, I am so fragile:
            My dreams get broken,
            My relationships get broken,
            My heart gets broken,
            My body gets broken.

What can I believe,
            Except that you will not despise a broken heart,
            That old and broken people shall yet dream dreams,
            And that the lame shall leap for joy,
                        The blind see,
                                    The deaf hear.

What can I believe,
            Except what Jesus taught:
            That only what is first broken, like bread,
                        Can be shared;
            That only what is broken
                        Is open to your entry;
            That old wineskins must be ripped open and replaced
                        If the wine of new life is to expand.

So, I believe, Lord;
Help my unbelief
            That I may have courage to keep trying
                        When I am tired,
            And to keep wanting passionately
                        When I am found wanting.

O God, I am so frail:
            My life spins like a top,
                        Bounced about by the clumsy hands
                                    Of demands beyond my doing,
            Fanned by furies
                        At a pace but half a step from hysteria,
                                    So much to do,
                                                My days so few and fast-spent,
                                                            And I mostly unable to recall
                                                                        What I am rushing after.

What can I believe,
            Except that beyond the limits
                        Of my little prayers and careful creeds,
            I am not meant for dust and darkness,
                        But for dancing life and silver starlight.

Help my unbelief
            That I may have courage
                        To dare to love the enemies
                                    I have the integrity to make;
                        To care for little else
                                    Save my brothers and sisters of the human family;
                        To take time to be truly with them,
                                    Take time to see,
                                                Take time to speak,
                                                            Take time to learn with them                                   
                                                                        Before time takes us;
            And to fear failure and death less
                        Than the faithlessness
Of not embracing love’s risks.

God, I am so frantic:
            Somehow I’ve lost my gentleness
                        In a flood of ambition,
            Lost my sense of wonder
                        In a maze of videos and computers,
            Lost my integrity
                        In a shuffle of commercial disguises,
            Lost my gratitude
                        In a swarm of criticisms and complaints,
            Lost my innocence
                        In a sea of betrayals and compromises.

What can I believe,
            Except that the touch of your mercy
                        Will ease the anguish of my memory;
            That the tug of your spirit
                        Will empower me to help carry now the burdens
                                    I have loaded on the lives of others;
            That the example of Jesus
                        Will inspire me to find again my humanity.

So, I believe, Lord;
Help my unbelief
            That I may have courage
                        To cut free from what I have been
            And to gamble on what I can be,
                        And on what you
                                    Might laughingly do
                                                With trembling me
                                                            For your incredible world. 

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