Sometimes a Prayer, by Luci Shaw
O Listener, You know how pleased
I can be with the sounds of my own words.
But sometimes a prayer comes out
half chewed, like a tough crust
that sticks in the teeth. Or spat out,
the stone from a sour plum.
What if my prayer is thin,
rote, barren of belief? If so,
remind me to swallow it and wait
for my gut to voice itself from
somewhere deeper, rasped out,
incoherent but heartfelt,
no holds barred.
I love how Luci Shaw can put words to the fact that sometimes a prayer comes out half chewed; we need to be reminded to swallow it and wait for the voice to come from somewhere deeper with no holds barred.
I love how she addresses God as “O Listener” – for when no one else is, or among many others who try, God is the ultimate listener to our “incoherent but heartfelt” voice.