Divine and Dusty: Embodied Prayers for Lent

Monday, March 8, 2021


Katie Snipes Lancaster

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Exodus 20:7

Up from the fountain
the babble of children,
drenched with surprise. Alive!
The rain of their syllables
does not strain to speech,
their glottal whoops and yells
never jell to full-fledged
words or phrases.
Parents hover bird-like
by their brood. Parents fan
and fan their little flames.
And I, alone, the childless one,
sit purposeless, yet not in vain.
Before language was, the rain.
Children’s voices pouring
from the sky. I close my eyes
and let it wash my dust.
—Richard Schiffman, “Before Language”

You name us,
you claim us,
you hover over us,
you drench us with surprise.
And so we ask:
Within whatever is missing,
whatever is lacking,
whatever is absent,
let there be a blessing.
Within whatever is in short supply
bless us there, too.
Let there be a blessing there in the void.
Let there be a blessing.

March 8, 2021

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