Is It? Is It, Really?

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“And God saw that the light was good…”
“And God saw that it was good.”
“And God saw that it was good.”
“And God saw that it was good.”
“And God saw that it was good.”
“And God saw that it was good.”

Is it? Is it really?

There are plenty of religious systems, Holy One,
who look out at the world and see a mess.
I mean, a mess: cacophony of sight and scent
and sound (and fury) and taste and touch.
The lingering odor of fading floods, the itchy
pull of drying mud along my hairy arms,
the dreary sight of muddy water, marked
by echoes of a terrifying roar.

Then there’s those annoying birds, who
sing in an unrelenting cackle, or the coqui frogs
whose endless searching for their mates confounds
the quest for rest. My hearts leaps from its place
to hear the canine growl. And God, just don’t, please don’t
let me get started on the bugs. And creeping things
that bite and sting and munch on grain
and ferry our disease (just as a start).

And need I mention hurricanes, and searing stone,
and deathly droughts, and flowing floods,
and howling winds, and mounting waves,
and driving snow, and shaking earth?
This, all this, you see as good?
And oh, for just a moment, would that I
could contemplate with your embracing eye:
to see Creation’s web connected.

For just a moment, to embrace the flood
that nourishes the ground, welcome the fire
that clears for new-sprung grasses, taste
the cleansing of organic rot, hear the crackling heat
as new stone finds its shape, to see
the lonely tree that stands above the flood,
drinks its spreading waters and declares:
“I, too, see and know that it is good.”

Perhaps then I would know that it is good.

A poem/prayer based on Genesis 1:1-25, the Season of Creation Hebrew Bible reading for Year B, Planet Earth Sunday.

The photo is of a monkey pod tree standing above the inundated Hilo bay front parks on Saturday, August 25, 2018, flooded by four feet of rain from Hurricane Lane. Photo by Eric Anderson.

Tempest Prayer

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God of the eye of the storm,
the list grows.
Houston’s┬ápopulation
wading, swimming, weeping
at the floods. Those swelling
waters carried homes and hopes
and lives away along a lengthy
stretch of seacoast and
inland.

And now, O God, the winds
and waves sweep over emerald isles,
carrying away so much
and leaving tears.
Barbuda, Antigua,
Saint Martin, Anguilla,
Tortolla, the Turks, the Caicos,
Puerto Rico, La Espa├▒ola,
and moving still…

Cuba…

Florida…

With another storm
advancing just behind.

As winds rage, the ground shakes
Chiapas, buildings crumble,
the bereft mourn.

O, God, for all who weep
beneath the storm,
above the rocking earth,
I ask your tender grace
to catch and hold their tears.

And God, I ask
for all who weep
beneath the storm,
above the rocking earth,
that you equip my hands
and hands of millions
with your power to help
and heal.

Do what I cannot do, O God,
help me do more than I am able,
for your weeping children.

Amen.

Satellite image courtesy National Hurricane Center. Give here toward disaster relief through the United Church of Christ.