I Want to Close My Eyes

Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble?
– Habakkuk 1:3a

I will stand at my watchpost…
-Habakkuk 2:1a

It’s a station at a height, O Holy One.
From my watching post, I see far.
My eyes are aided by a global net
of eyes and ears and electronic tongues.

From my watching post, I see.

I see the separated children.
I see the freedom-seekers jailed.
I see the wealthy celebrating.
I see the wicked circle the righteous.

From my watching post, I see.

I want to close my eyes.
I want to stop my ears.
I want my skin to cease its clenching.
I want to taste no more of evil.

But judgment comes forth perverted,
And so I watch and weep.

A poem/prayer based on Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4, the Revised Common Lectionary First reading for Year C, Proper 26.

Self-portrait by Eric Anderson.

Do You Not Care?

Iesus_dormiens_in_media_tempestateWho would believe it? The man can sleep:
Sleep through the howls of wind,
the hiss of waves, the groan of wood,
the crack of timber, the despairing human voice!

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

Who would believe it? That God can sleep:
Sleep through the howls of parents,
the hiss of falsehoods, the groan of defenders,
the crack of cages, the despairing voices of children!

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

Do you not care?

And the Teacher stands and replies:

“Do you not care?
Rebuke this howling wind
that hisses falsehoods, makes the righteous groan,
confines weeping children in crashing cages.
Rebuke this wind, I say. Rebuke it.

“And then, let there be peace.”

A prayer based on Mark 4:35-41, the Gospel Lesson for Year B, Proper 7.

The image is an illustration from the Hitda Codex, commissioned about 1020 for Abbess Hitda of Meschede, Germany.