We learned about another evil this week, the targeted murder of a family in London, Ontario because of their faith. The sins of racism and Islamophobia are alive and well in our communities, and they are deadly. 

It has been a heavy couple of weeks. I have felt a sometimes overwhelming mixture of shame, anger, and sadness, as well as a tangle of other, often indescribable emotions. These feelings are not necessarily bad. They can be very good, in fact, important, even holy. 

In that spirit I share with you this prayer/poem by Ted Loder from Guerrilas of Grace, found in Ken Gire’s Reflections on the Word Devotional. 


How shall I pray?

Are tears prayers, Lord?

Are screams prayers,

or groans

or sighs

or curses?

Can trembling hands be lifted to you,

or clenched fists

or the cold sweat that trickles down my back

or the cramps that knot my stomach?

Will you accept my prayers, Lord,

my real prayers,

rooted in the muck and mud and rock of my life,

and not just my pretty, cut-flower, gracefully arranged

bouquet of words?

Will you accept me, Lord,

as I really am,

messed up mixture of glory and grime?

It is OK to feel helpless, angry, and sad. It is ok to say, “how long,” to ask “why,” to cry out, “how could you let this happen.” These too are prayers that we can offer to our loving Creator. 

Thanks be to God!