NYLTC Worship, station 6
I Kings 19:12
And after all this, a sound of sheer silence…
The conference room was darkened. There were two candles at its entrance, placed next to the Bible reading. There were cushions on the floor.
A looped clip from the Zen TV DVD was playing, of a dandelion blowing in the wind. Bliss’s “Song for Olabi” was playing in the background.
People were invited to do nothing.
After about 20 minutes, when everyone had gathered in the space, the following poem by Anna Mackenzie was read, and we finished with a prayer:
Maybe this was Elijah’s prayer at the mouth of the cave.
And maybe this is yours, too.
We, without a future
And so we must learn to live again,
we of the damaged bodies
and assaulted minds.
Starting from scratch with the rubble of our lives
and picking up the dust
of dreams once dreamt.
And we start there, naked in our vulnerability,
proud of starting over, fighting back,
but full of weak humility
at the awesomeness of the task.
We, without a future,
safe, defined, delivered
now salute you God.
Knowing that nothing is safe,
secure, inviolable here.
and even that eludes our minds at times.
And we hate you
and we love you,
and our anger is as strong
as our pain,
our grief is deep as oceans,
and our need as great as mountains.
So, as we take our first steps forward
into the abyss of the future,
we would pray for
courage to go places for the first time
and just be there.
Courage to become what we have
not been before
and accept it,
with bravery to look deep
within our souls to find
We did not want it easy God,
but we did not contemplate
that it would be quite this hard,
this long, this lonely.
So, if we are to be turned inside out,
and upside down,
with even our pockets shaken,
just to check what is rattling
and left behind,
we pray that you will keep faith with us,
and we with you,
holding our hands as we weep,
giving us strength to continue,
and showing us beacons
along the way
to becoming new.
We are not fighting you God,
even if it feels like it,
but we need your help and company,
as we struggle on.
and starting over.
God of the still, silent voice, be our company into an unknown future.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Go in peace, and the God of peace go with you.