Possible Answers to Prayer
by Scott Cairns
Your petitions- though they continue to bear just the one signature- have been duly recorded. Your anxieties- despite their constant, relatively narrow scope and inadvertant entertainment value- nonetheless serve to bring your person vividly to mind.
Your repentance- all but obscured beneath a burgeoning, yellow fog of frankly more conspicuous resentment- is sufficient. Your intermittment concern for the sick, the suffering, the needy poor is sometimes recognizable to me, if not to them.
Your angers, your zeal, your lipsmackingly righteous indignation toward the many whose habits and sympathies offend you- these must burn away before you’ll apprehend how near I am, with what fervor I adore precisely these, the several who rouse your passions.
During Lent the Church challenges us, in the name of Christ, to spend more time in prayer and reflection. Take some time this Lent and pray, consciously and by name, for those who you may put in the fifth stanza of Cairns’ poem. Praying for those we struggle with, resent, or dislike can be a way toward healing and inner peace. Sometimes we dislike (sometimes we may use the word hate), resent or wish ill upon folks who have betrayed, hurt or damaged us or others.
We human beings are a broken, mixed-up lot! Bringing into the presence of our loving God those we carry within us through our own mental meanderings and own cyclical thinking and inability to let go, is an exquisitely freeing type of surrender.
God, into your hands give us grace to commend and surrender those whose sympathies, habits, choices, behavior and judgment have hurt us, offended us, or simply annoy us. Amen!