Monday, August 23, 2010

Prayer #128: Unfair Play

Life: A Play in One Scene

The narrator sits at a rickety card table on a dark stage. One harsh light hangs overhead. An extra folding chair juts out the other side. The narrator taps the notebook in front of her, checks her watch, sighs in exasperation. Another minute passes. Then, Life saunters in.

Narrator: There you are! I've been waiting for you all night! You were supposed to be here three hours ago.

Life: (pulls out the chair, slowly sits) Sorry. I lost track of time.

Narrator: Lost track of ... lost track of time?? There's no time to waste -- people I love are sick, my friends are heartbroken, security and hope and health is disappearing all over the place --

Life: Like I said ... sorry.

Narrator: (sits down again in a huff, takes the notepad) Let's get moving. First question ... what do you propose to do about B.? She's been in the hospital two weeks and still no answers.

Life: Hmmm. Well, probably nothing.

Narrator: Excuse me?

Life: Yeah. Nothing. Sorry.

Narrator: How can you say that?? Someone is sick, maybe even dying! And you'll sit by and do nothing? How could you? Where's your mercy, your compassion?

Life: Don't know what to tell you, kid. All I promised to do was show up. I never said I would be fair.

End.

Prayer #128: Unfair Play

God, I don't believe You have a heavenly spin-the-wheel printed with our 6 billion names that You turn once a day to find out who gets to suffer.

But with the way life plays out, in all its tragedy, coincidence, and straight-up bad luck, I have to ask: Is there any way You can intervene without stepping on our free will?

Because if so, please do it. Now.

Don't leave us begging for miracles at a chilly, empty altar. Match our impotence with Your omnipotence. Share whatever tools You can, be it a counselor's wise comfort, a surgeon's deft hands, or a friend's consoling ear.

I accept that life is not fair. But I will not accept that You are not here.

Amen.

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