Let’s Hear the Prayer Bells and Blow our Trumpets for Peace

peace 3

Let’s Hear the Prayer Bells

and the Trumpets of Peace

Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly..” – Joel 2:15

I had a heart-wrenching wake-up call this morning. It was like a trumpet-call of attention.

After just a short rest following my 24 hour shift at the hospital, I had jumped on the machines at the gym. My wife calls “Did you hear about Nairobi?”

My heart sunk.

As you may remember from a previous blog, last year my wife Katharine and I opened our heart and lives to a young lady from Kenya who we loved and embraced as if she was our own daughter. It was for both of us a life-changing experience. Well, Nairobi is the city where her school is.

The news was a group had gone in and shot up a mall near where she lives. So for a good hour or two my heart could barely beat in fear of what might become of her.

Which reminded me in one of the more frightening ways I can imagine that today is the International Day of Prayer for Peace. For many of us, I think the reality of violence was brought home in the gassing of the citizens of Syria a short time ago, and the threat of war still hangs over us while we hope and pray for a peaceful resolution to the human rights abuses going on there and elsewhere in this world.

mend world 2

I want to invite and challenge folks reading this to take a few minutes to meditate on the conflict in the world and how you can be a source of peace in your neighborhood, your life, and your world.

I hope in honor of this call to prayer to spend some time throughout this upcoming week with reflections on peace on my blog. Please join me in your own way in prayer for peace.

Today as a reflection on the cost of violence on our lives, here is a poem I wrote in honor of the international day of prayer for peace. Along with it I am including a video of one of my favorite prayers for peace sung by the 1980’s rock band “White Lion”.

Wherever there is violence, war, and abuse of human rights whether by government, terrorists, or gangs in the streets, we need to pray for the Prince of Peace’s reign to be made known. Wherever those evils reigns, someone’s baby girl – and baby boy – lies threatened and risk.

Let us turn our hearts to the hurting and broken in our world, letting our prayers and our lives be answers to their cries of violence and war.

And I’m not just whistling Dixie here,

your progressive redneck preacher,

Micah

micah pic

Ongoing Incarnation

breakbreadI lift it up, firm yet pliant, aromatically doughy

hear the rip of it tearing in my hands

and think of the calloused skin

of men toiling under the hot sun

often with little pay

in constant threat,

ever asking themselves:

Will I be sent back as illegal

unwanted

rejected?

despite their long labors

and searching for hope

toiling to plant and harvest the grain that bore this loaf?

As I open my mouth, ready to whisper ancient words

I cannot but think of the body I watched

laying still and quiet

a tangle of cords its shroud

entombed amidst white hospital walls

just as sure as that fated Galilean lay

in rocky borrowed grave

the only sounds surrounding it are

the constant beep of machines

we call life support

which instead of bringing life

simply delay the inevitable

freeing of that one woman’s soul

from a body

transformed from a house of joy

to a stifling prison of pain,

a sound that mingles with

machine-borne labored breaths

which together resound in that room

like water dripping

on stalagmites

deep below Linville caverns.

“This is my body,” my lips whisper

and I cannot but have my mind transported

to the hills and seas of Uganda

where Idi Amin left bodies

Child Abuse Statisticspiled in the sun

of little girls

just like that African princess

who is like a daughter to me

whom he thought defective,

and the smoke clouds of Aushwitz,

which rose engulfing all those

whom madmen called unworthy

while good people watched unmoved.

“Broken” I whisperabuse 1

and think of the man

whose life remains shattered

by one he trusted as a boy

who left scars no , nor time itself, can heal.

“Broken” echoes

as I remember little girls and mothers

hiding for their life

from the ones that left them bruised.

communionI take the cup, I raise the glass,

and realize

in each of them the Sacred Light burns bright

just as surely as it shined in Mary’s baby boy

and in me.

This is my cup, I hear him whisper as I say his words

poured out in you and many.

As I hear Him, I rememberhomeless in jesus arms

how often we fail to see.

We say “keep those dirty souls out of our parks”

not letting love win for the likes of them.

We say “send them back”,

forgetting that it is in their eyes,

eyes of the stranger

the broken

and the poor,

that the Savior’s eyes shine back upon us.

We say “they are too far away”

while so many baby girls

fall under tyrant’s tank

and terrorist’s bomb

their fathers likewise

helpless to save them.

And I fall to my knees

broken

remembering

all those I turned away

not seeing

calling crazy, faggot,

wetback, and gimp

heart broken wide,

face wet with tears.

And somehow, somewhere,

in the music of the moment

I hear a whispered reminder

This, broken, is my body.

gods handsThis one poured out bears my life.

Be my body, broken with the broken,

be my life, poured out to the empty.

Let us lay a table together

in the valley of death

so your cup overflows

with drank of healing

for all my who lie broken

trembling in fear.

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