unbeliever’s prayer

Lord – thank you.

Thank you for Everything.

While it’s tempting to just thank you for love + beauty + discovery + joy, for food + family + purpose, in all fairness I feel that I should thank you for all of it; the light and the shadow, strength and weakness, mercy and cruelty – it’s a package deal, isn’t it? It wouldn’t seem entirely grateful to say “thank you for my life, but could you take away the difficult bits?”

So, thank you. Thank you for the blessings of heartbeat, of sunrise, of breathing in and out. Thank you for family, thank you for neighbors. Thank you for Hindus and Buddhists and Jews and Muslims & Native Americans and Zoroastrians and Pagans and all the other folks I may not be aware of.

And thank you for Christians, although I must admit, they trouble me sometimes. They can be a pretty unyielding bunch.

Does it trouble you that so many people want to claim a unique advantage with you? Does it bother you when we put words in your mouth, or use you as an excuse to do bad things?

I don’t claim to know you, other than personally, but I can’t believe that you would create all of us and then favor a few – it’s just not my image of a loving parent. I can’t believe that you would create such diversity, such a vast rainbow of culture and custom and belief and then say “oh by the way, there is only one path, only one way, only one culture of redemption.” But that’s what some of us say, you know.

We all stand in a massive circle around the mountain, and one group says “The mountain is covered with trees and faces North,” and another group says “No, the mountain is rocky and faces West,” and the wise ones know that it is the same mountain, but the rest of us argue about which is the Real Mountain, and come to blows over it. Because that’s what the mountain wants from us, we say.

I’d like to be less discouraged about that, Lord. I’d like to not be so judgmental about those who judge me. I’d appreciate your help with that. I’d love for all of us to stand around the mountain, and hold hands if we feel like it, and share our visions of the mountain, and admire it and be grateful.

Thank you for that beautiful dream.


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