Genesis 32: 6-12
On "Good Friday" Kind of Days
I think this prayer is more of a reflection of yesterday, and how, looking back on the thoughts and feelings running through me as I drove home last night, it had hints of Good Friday darkness, pain and strange emptiness. Nothing horrible happened yesterday, per se, so if this prompt hadn't been here this morning I probably wouldn't have even written this. But just as someone else's words spark your own and guide you in a certain way, this is what came out of my heart as I sat with God in the shadow of an early Spring storm.
Lightening and thunder greet me this morning, Lord. Patch hates storms. His tail was wagging fiercely; his little snout letting out the most pitiful whine. It was all I could do to ignore him. I let him out of his bed early, so at least he could hang out at my feet. The rain is coming down strong. It's been so long since we had a storm that I wondered what it sounded like! I even forgot that Patch was scared of the thunder.
Some days just feel longer than others. For no particular reason. I am always thankful when the days pass harmlessly and remotely drama-free. But as I drove home last night, I had a feeling of sadness.
Maybe it was a random, innocent reminder of something I'm struggling with.
Maybe it was the news that my sweet niece fell and chipped her tooth on the concrete. My sister shedding more tears than she. The fear and the guilt that comes with simply letting children be children. The way a day can suddenly turn from ordinary and easy to frantic and fearful. And thanking God that it wasn't any worse. Lord, it is emotionally draining. I hate it when the people I love hurt.
Or maybe it was the random phone call I got 20 minutes before Vespers yesterday. Cradling a sleeping Abbey in my arms, trying to mentally prepare for worship. "I need gas to drive to Bowling Green to see my sister in the hospital. And - do you have any food?"
Two basic needs that the church of Jesus Christ should be able to meet - and I said it couldn't. Who knows, she could have been lying. Frustration and sorrow heaped up within me. Don't you know your problems are bigger than a gas card or a can of food? It's 5:10 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon. What do you want me to do? I cannot fix your problems. If you want to come to worship we can try to collect an offering….I can meet you for coffee tomorrow, I'll buy your cup and we can talk. But I can't fix your problems through this phone call. I can't fix your problems at all. Lord have mercy on us both.
Maybe it was the story Molly told me of how she randomly witnessed a man whip his dog yesterday afternoon. She yelled out for him to stop. He cussed at her, but eventually he quit and they went inside. I think, if it had come down to it, Molly would have risked getting whipped herself to make that idiot stop hitting his dog. Perhaps God, you were looking out for that dog in the best way you could, without being able to fix the dog's problem of an abusive owner, you made sure its biggest advocate in the city of Glasgow was there to yell stop. One less whip. One less grimace. One less moment of pain.
God, forgive me, but sometimes I wish you could do more. I wish we could do more. But those phone calls always come. The stories of abuse never go away.
So if nothing else, just sit and cry with us. When we're driving home at night. On these Good Friday kind of days.