Divine and Dusty: Embodied Prayers for Lent

Saturday, March 20, 2021


Katie Snipes Lancaster

Let them thank the Lord for the Lord’s steadfast love, for the Lord’s wonderful works to humankind. And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell of the Lord’s deeds with songs of joy. Psalm 107:21–22

When you are ill you weigh more.
Your head sinks into the pillow,
Your bed curves in the middle,
Your body drops like a meteorite.
“He’s so heavy,” say the relatives,
They turn you on the other side
And nod meaningfully. “He weighs like the dead.”

The earth feels its prey
And concentrates upon you
Its colossal force of attraction.
The iron in you hungers to go down.
The gold in you hungers to go down.
The gravitation of the whole world has its eyes on you
And pulls you down with unseen ropes…

You look like the bell the peasants
Take down before their exodus, burying it very deep,
Marveling at the sight of the bell digging its grave,
Eagerly biting the dust.

You are all lead
And unto yourself
You have become exceedingly all-important,
Surrounded by endless mystery.
—Marin Sorescu, “Descent”

For those who are ill, O God.
Do not let us forget
the weight of our bodies,
their bodies.
Do not let us forget
the sink of the pillow,
the curve of the bed,
the pull toward the earth.
Let there be a way
for your endless mystery
to surround.
Let there be a way
for your endless mystery.
Let there be a way.

March 20, 2021

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