Response #38 The Cross

Mysterious Theologian: Chase Foreman

Suffering and Dying God, finally I pray to you after hours at the foot of your cross thinking about you and me… me and you… me and sin… you and death… me and death… you and love… me and love… me and you and other people plus death and sin and love and you again and… blah blah blah… It has felt, for me, like looking through a magnifying glass, then a microscope, then a stronger microscope, ever deeper into the grain of the wood of the cross, then the cells of the wood, and then deeper into each cell where I find a monastery filled with little monks that look like me writing prayers and arguing about various things. I’m sure you were there too, trying to teach me something, but you know, I was busy talking to my selfs. In any case, thanks for listening. Thanks for coming with me. And thanks for leading me here, to where you need me to be tonight. It is time for me to pray for someone other than me. Lord let me pray. Crucify and kill the many voices of me and let me pray. It is not for my own sake that I pray, but for yours and for the sake of your children. So, lord let me pray.

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Rebellious God, yours is a cross of suffering! And your final act is one of obedience! How can this be! This is not how you lived-out the love you were preaching about! What’s with this poisonous obedience! Where is it all coming from?! Have you forgotten yourself and who you are?!”

“Duh mom, I was in my father’s house, where’d you expect me to be…” “I’m sorry Jesus, what did you just say to me?!”

“Yeah, I’m healing this guy… Nope, doesn’t matter what words I use. Let me ask you this though… what’s gonna annoy you the most if I say it and then he is healed?… ‘Cuz that’s definitely what I’m gonna say.”

“Go ahead, throw some stones if you want… but first gentlemen, let’s not be hasty and haphazard about this. Let’s get organized… Okay, I got it… Whoever wants to get stoned next gets first toss!”

“Hey, who wants to go flip some tables in the temple?”

“Who do people say I am?” “Who do you say I am?” “I’m not gonna tell you who I am…”

“Yep, no problem Rabbuni, I’ve got it right here, let me read it back to you… Okay, here’s what I have so far: lunch with prostitutes, a sit down with a demoniac, then healing various romans and lepers, followed by an argument with some pharisees, and finally dinner with a tax collector and various other rapscallions… did I miss anything?”

You lived a life of rebellious and revolutionary love. And yet, the lasting image of your love-driven life is one that is easily twisted by us into a message of obsequiousness! Tonight I pray that you will suck out the poison that we have let creep up and soak into the grain of your cross and release those who, through their good and loving natures have been subjected to the vile natures of others and have been deceived into the chains of obeisance, abuse, and humiliated servitude. Break the bonds of your oppressed and abused children tonight. Teach them suffering for not a moment longer!

Amen!

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Response #34 Grease

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Mysterious Theologian: Chase

Greasy God, you stain my fingers when I’m working hard… whether I am sealing toilets, repairing bikes, or lubricating skid steers and backhoes. You got your hands dirty when you created me. You got your hands dirty when you saved me. You get your hands dirty when you love me. I give thanks for you, Greasy God, and ask that you stick with me and stain me. I ask that you continue to form me and shape me and as often as is necessary stain my fingers and remind me that though these may be my hand they were meant to do God’s greasy, grimy, good work.

Amen.

Response #31 Shower Scum

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Mysterious Theologian: Chase

Scummy God, I often wonder where you are, where you’ve been, and when you’re gonna get here and do something about all this! Today you have been revealed to me in shower scum, soap scum, and hard water residue. Thank you God, for being so sticky, grimy, and cruddy. I feel your presence in the cup from my first communion and in the Bibles I have collected over the years. I feel you stuck to me and my life through the pictures of friends and family that come, with their blessings and burdens, along with me from house, to apartment, to house, to… When I consider these things I am comforted and bemused, because everywhere I go there is scummy residue in the sinks, and everywhere I go you come too. Thank you God.

Amen.

Response #15 Used Gum

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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!

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

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

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

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

Response #5 Snow Sludge

Mysterious Theologian: Chase

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A Prayer of Sludge and Snow

God, the snow doesn’t start out grimy. Neither do I. Snow becomes grimy. And so do I. On Sunday your word falls on me and the world becomes clear and bright. I feel renewed, cleansed, and capable of doing your will. But by Monday I am tired. By Tuesday I am annoyed. By Wednesday I am disgusted. By Thursday I am broken. By Friday I am desperate and by Saturday I am in doubt. Stay with me God. Send me, each day, the word that reveals your reign in this world and shake the sludge off of me. Give me vision, give me hope, and give me the power to see and do your will throughout the week.

Amen.

Response #03 Gastroenteritis

Mysterious Theologian: Chase

Invisible Gastro God, I have heard that it is not what goes in the mouth but what comes out that counts. Hide yourself in all that I consume, whether at the food truck for lunch or at the altar for communion. Enter into me deeply and twist me up. Surprise me explosively for days with thoughts, words, and actions inspired by you. Wear me down and replace my pain with greater peace through every outburst. Make me apologize to my friends saying, “I’m sorry, it’s just… I’ve got God poisoning.”

Amen.