A Prayer of Confession

On Wednesday night, I gathered with other church members for a midweek reflection during the season of Lent. We read the story of Nicodemus in John 3 and shared in this awesome poem by Hafiz. Both the Gospel Lesson and the poem spoke to me in the strange mystery when leading worship actually nourishes. I listened as I invited others to reflect upon the text. I asked when there are so many opportunities to feel like a broken man stuck behind a farting camel, how can we be reborn?

This conversation turned into a denominational throw down -- as individuals offered their reflections on what Lent has been in their past. They admitted how it had hurt and how this season had offered new hope. Being ecumenical at heart, I was uncomfortable. Though we are a denomination of pilgrims from other traditions, it is always discomforting to me when our new members and visitors can only focus on the negative of their faith formation.

As I listened for the words of the Gospel and the poetry of Hafiz touch my heart, I felt an overwhelming need to confess. And because I'm not sure what to do with this prayer, I'm going to share it with you. After all, my faith journey is about community.

Gracious God
who counts the numbers of hairs upon my head
who knows the intimate thoughts of my heart
forgive me for when I do not trust your stirring
for those times when I don't recognize rebirth
for those times that I fail to allow you to work through my hands
for those times when I ignore your calling to come home.
You have wandered with me.
You have held my hand.
You have always been there just outside of my touch.
I don't need Water or Spirit to know that you are there.
I don't need to focus on the farting camel or my own brokenness.
I only need to see you in the face of others.
I need to forgive myself as you have already forgiven me.
No matter how stubborn
No matter how indignant
No matter how clueless
You are always holding my hand.
Gracious God
forgive me for those things that I fail to see.
Hold my hand and walk with me through this strange Lenten journey
as you remind me what it means to walk in your path.
In Christ Jesus, I pray. Amen.

1 comment:

Backwoods Rev said...

Love, love, love the poem. Just what I needed this morning.

And the prayer was the perfect companion.