Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Psalm 95Jonah 3:1–4:11Hebrews 12:1-14 Luke 18: 9-14

Teach Me to Pray

He called it “Graced Land,”
to which he never felt arrived,
unlike people do in essays
on how to pray.
The goal reportedly attained by others,
hadn’t worked for him.
the way that he and prayer misfired
when he tried staying focused,
eyes closed and such;
sometimes repeating mantras.
So he sought advice,
inquiring of me,
“How do you stay on track?
What has helped you learn to pray?”
Asking me, myself a neophyte!
But his earnest question
deserved an honest answer.
“When stopped at traffic lights,” I said.
Good use of time,
till signals switched to green.
Like sincere thoughts for healing
a passel of unseen patients
in the hospital cater-corner,
or the homeless guys
right there on the sidewalk
looking like the world is soon to end.
Or that he himself could level with the boss
when he got to work today.
Nearly unlimited need out there,
in the everyday;
every bit as timely
as ‘fast-breaking news’
he’d heard several times the hour before.

Doug Vest

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