Invitation (a prayer)

As surely as the envelope comes in the mail,
or the phone rings with opportunity,
or the innocent child asks, “Will you come play with me?” –
you, O God, invite me
to taste and see,
to hear and heal,
to know and be known.

With tenderness and vulnerability,
I pry open the sealed note of this moment
and pray with hope
that I will be available
and able
to respond
to You.

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© Amy Persons Parkes 2011
(written as part of the final project for the Two-Year Academy of Spiritual Formaion #30)

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Draw a Line

Have you ever watched black birds in November?

If only my thoughts were as orderly as seventy-eight black birds on a telephone wire in November.  As if traffic were incidental and wind a given, they twitter and preen and flock from this wire to that with effortless intention.  Like charred popcorn, they flutter up, bump, pop, and settle right back down onto a simple line, firm and flexible.

© Amy Persons Parkes 2012

A Prayer of Praise

While the earth and the sun
and the mountains and the streams
sing your praise, great God of heaven,
I offer a little praise of my own.

Praise God, with muddy floors and sticky counters.
Praise God, with dusty computers and lint-filled dryers.
Praise God, with toothpaste on shower curtain.
Praise God, with big smiles and loose teeth.
Praise God, with cardboard boxes transformed into time machines.
Praise God, with low bank balances and big bills.
Praise God, with no meal plan one hour before dinner.
Praise God, with children – sick and late to school.
Praise God, with Sunday school lesson half-way prepared and wrinkled dress.
Praise God, with sniffling noses and uncombed hair.
Praise God, with gutter leaning and shutter peeling.
Praise God, with one hubcap missing.
Praise God, with litter box in need of cleaning.
Praise God, with mascara smudged and a cut from shaving.
Praise God, with shoe soles flapping and missing buttons.
Praise God, with deadline looming and surprise visitor.
Praise God, with broken toe plus an unruly in-law.

In all times and in all places,
and in all manner of faces and spaces,
let all that is real and immediate and present
bellow and whisper
scream and whimper
cheer and wail
praise to you, O God,
creator, sister, sustainer.

Written as part of the final project for the Academy of Spiritual Formation #30 and appropriate for Thanksgiving.
© Amy Persons Parkes, 2011.