Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Speaking Truth

Blue nights into white stars…. A line from a Carl Sandberg poem called Prayers of Steel. It reminds of a prayer I read recently it goes like this… ‘Dear creator make me a radical, make me a revolutionary, fill me with the truth and give me the voice to speak it into the world.’ When I think of this prayer it makes me smile, to think of asking to be a radical, asking to be the one who stands up in the world, looking out over the blue night filled with white stars and speaking the truth for all to hear. What a brave soul this is asking for the creator to trust them with the knowledge that all others shun and run away from, standing up and saying pick me, pick me.

It reminds me of the night not long after my mother’s death and I prayed and prayed for her to come and visit me, I needed to know she forgave me for allowing them to take her off the respirator. I waited and waited, then one late night while in the bathroom, the light off as I sat on the toilet, the door open, I could see the moonlight streaming down the hall. As I was finishing up a large light shadow appeared at the door. It was strange almost the reverse of what a shadow should be. Wherever there should be depth there was a thick light. It all happened so fast, it was suddenly there and I gasped in fright and then it was gone just as quickly leaving me a trembling mess. It never came back and I could never be sure it was my mother, though I believed that it was, yet I doubted too. Almost immediately I wanted it to come back, but I also remember a great deal of relief when the light faded and left. And that is what makes me wonder at the bravery of this prayer. Is it wise to pray and hope for something that if it comes we may not be able to handle?

I prayed for a sign and when one was presented I went screeching back to my bed and lay trembling under the covers. Maybe I wasn’t ready, maybe I would be now but it is too late, or maybe we think we want something or that we are brave or smart or strong, and then when it happens we are a screeching trembling mess.

What I pray for is courage, it is a longing that I have for the world to accept me as I am and for me to always be braver than I was yesterday, to gain knowledge from the past and use it as a means to grow stronger. Yet in my heart I too want to be a radical, a revolutionary, a person who will stand in the center of the blue night sky and speak truth to the white stars.

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