Challenge #16 Pink Eye

Ben, things have changed since the beginning of Lent. Don’t you feel like a whole different person? I bet you don’t even remember how into the Olympics you were. You probably don’t remember checking Twitter every 7 minutes to find pictures of toilets and curtains and glasses of weird water. But I bet you remember this…!

bob-costas-pink-eye

Ahhh! Dreaded pink eye. It makes em blood shot, seals em shut, and might even get you kicked off the TV for scaring children and/or winking “too harshly” in general… allegedly.

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Response #15 Used Gum

Bubble-Gum-Alley-Got-My-Eye-On-You-1

God be in my heart and in my hands and in my mouth. Freshen my breath with the words that embody your will, your way, and your hope. Let me speak communion and reconciliation to my brothers and sisters. Do not let me drown you out, but speak through my breath and spit and lips. And when I go to share you with others send your spirit to remind me to give them their own stick of you to chew on, not mine. So that they may come to know you not through my breath and spit and lips, but through their own.

Amen.

Hey people, Chase here, used gum seemed like a really rich and disgusting image to me. If you are inspired by some aspect of it and want to create and share a prayer go ahead! Post it in the comments!

Challenge #14 Allergies

There are many types of allergies, but let’s focus on hay fever. I am afflicted with this sensitivity and I can therefore confirm that it is disgusting, embarrassing, and one might even say grimy. Look Ben, you know the deal it’s sneezing, it’s coughing, it’s mucus in the throat that causes people to clear their throats constantly, it’s itchy red eyes, it’s swollen parts of the face, it’s… gross. And to think, it’s our reaction to things like flowers. We are told to consider the lily of the valley… “Ok, but only from a distance.” Sniffles, sneezes, and snores result from allergies, but will a prayer also result from them? You tell me.

Response #13 Nails on a Chalkboard

Ahh! Ben! Why?!

Prayer of Grating Anguish

God, I’ve been praying for deliverance so much recently. Everything screams out at me. I can’t escape the shrill tone of suffering that haunts your creation. My twitter feed updates me on very clear suffering around the world. The news rolls me around in the details of every possible tragedy. You gave me a heart and a brain so I know that there is even more beyond what I can hear. Jimi Hendrix didn’t save us from the sound of nails on a chalkboard and Jesus didn’t save us from our suffering. There’s things I can hear, but I can’t change. And God help me! The things I can’t hear I don’t stand a chance of changing. But God, you see them, you change them. You ask too much of me. You’re on notice God, your deliverance is incomplete.

Amen

Challenge #12 Dead Worms

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Ben, some smells are divine. Thick woven straw rugs smell diving, they remind me of Hawaii. Sunscreen smells divine, it reminds me of summer… and Hawaii. Fresh rain when it first starts to fall on dusty dry streets, now that is a divine smell and yes it reminds me of Hawaii too, what’s your point? But sadly Ben, some smells are not divine, like the at once stale and rotten smell of dead worms strewn across the sidewalk after a heavy rain. Or am I wrong? Is this a scent of the divine?

Response #11 Cockroaches

Gross, good one.

A Prayer for Dark Nights

There are many tangible and intangible things in my life that frighten me and make me anxious. When I lie in bed at night thoughts and feelings about these things arise in me and plague me. In the dark night and the dark times of my life I am afraid my courage and my faith might falter. Send your Holy Spirit to be with me. Come out at night. Skitter across the floor, surround me, tell me not to be afraid, tell me you are with me to the end of the age in… in the those dark moments, those nooks and crannies of my dark nights, like your creepy little creatures the cockroaches.

Amen

Challenge #10 Acne

Ben, that last one really hit home. This one does too, I’m just glad I don’t have to write a prayer about… acne! You know the stuff don’t you? Or, were you born with that 5 o’clock shadow of yours? Acne is a plaguing and embarrassing thing. Medications can cause it, stress can cause it, being a teenager can cause it, anything and/or nothing can cause it… but it seems like we humans, old and young, are stuck with it. So, God must be in it somewhere… right?

Response #9 Dandruff

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A Three in One Prayer

Giving God, bless us with the courage to wear love and compassion on our sleeves like snot we’ve wiped from a child’s nose. And the courage to wear hope on our faces like chronic acne. And the courage to wear faith and trust on our shoulders like dandruff. And let that faith, hope, and love be your faith, hope, and love. It will be disgusting and unbelievable to some but to others, your children, it will be a beautiful and broken sign that points to the wholeness there is in you.

Amen

Challenge #8 Stuffed Animals

Yeah Ben, that’s right, stuffed animals. Obviously not any old stuffed animals. Stuffed animals in store windows and other glass cages are fine. What I’m talking about are kids’ favorite stuffed animals. The one they drag through preschool with them, sliding it along the table during snack time, laying on it like a pillow on the floor during nap time, and sucking on it all the time! I’m talking about the stuffed animals who announce kids’ entrance. “Oh, stop s-w-e-a-r-i-n-g hunny, I can smell Timmy coming.” Those are the stuffed animals I’m talking about, the ragged, beaten, broken, and rank stuffed animals that even parents who sleep with their living-breathing animals won’t allow into their beds.

Response #7 Boogers

Mysterious Theologian: Chase

A Prayer of… Aaaachooo!… Thanks

God bless you… God. If that makes sense. You know me completely. I can hide nothing from you, yet you love me and I witness your grace all around me. I feel your grace through my friends and kind acquaintances who pretend not to notice the embarrassingly human things about me. Or who, unable to ignore my foolishness, are able to laugh the pangs of embarrassment away with me. Send more angels like these to me, I’ve got a lot of embarrassingly human tendencies, habits, and um, disgraces.

Amen