O God of children and clowns, as well as martyrs and bishops, somehow you always seem to tumble a jester or two of light through the cracks of my proud defense and into the shadows of my sober piety.
Grant me, no, an enchantment of heart that, for a moment, the calliopes of your kingdom may entice my spirit, laughing, out of my sulky self-preoccupation into a childlike delight in the sounds and silences that hum of grace; so I may learn again that life is never quite as serious as I suppose, yet more precious than I dare take for granted even for a moment, that I may be released into the possibilities of the immediate ... and rejoice to travel light, knowing there is little I have of need except my brothers and sisters to love, you to trust, and your stars to follow home.
Excerpt from Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle Ted Loder
Here's a short post at last.
A few days ago a friend of mine told me the story (by now you may have heard it but never mind) of a certain Horace Johnson who prayed all the time to win a million dollars in the lottery. He began praying for that in high school, continued all through college, then on into his marriage and working life, every day without fail. He prayed regularly through the scrimping years of his children's' childhood and adolescence, their needs, struggles, education, weddings and the arrival of his grandchildren.
One night as he was praying that after all this time, God, please would enable him to win the lottery, a light suddenly surrounded him and out of the light he heard a voice say, "Horace, help me out here. Buy a ticket!"
Okay, it's just a funny story. But is that all it is? Doesn't its point have at least a dozen applications? Whoever wrote the Letter of James in the Bible, put one of them this way: "What good, is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? ... If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food ... and yet you do now supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? ... For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead."
Care for the poor? Health care for everyone? Create jobs for the unemployed? Assist senior citizens? Initiate a green economy? Turn back global warming? Reduce nuclear weapons? Invest more attention and funds in public education for everyone? Achieve full gender and racial equality? Nurture personal and world peace? Live the gospel? Believe, yes. Pray, certainly. But buy a ticket. Sign up. Pay up. Stand up. Join up. Help out here.
Enough for now. The key here is deciding how the point of the story applies to and for you!
Think about it. Ted