Extravagant God

Sunday before last at CSBC I read a prayer. I’ve used it before and posted it in an earlier version of this blog. This time I’ve taken the liberty of altering it with a word or two to make it more southern hemisphere than northern, but nothing significant. Yesterday a number of people asked for it, so here it is.

Extravagant God

Excessive
generous
lavish God …
why do you waste so much time on us?

You create rainbows that no one sees;
shower down intricate
separate,
unique,
stunning autumn leaves by the billions
and one at a time
that we greet not with applause
but with complaints of inconvenience.

You place whales beneath fathoms of ocean
singing their plaintive, haunting songs
too deep for our ears to hear.
You create fantastic jungles
within a square foot of grass
a universe in an atom
breathtaking places that have never been seen
or appreciated by a single human being.

Why are we so bored and dull?
Why do we appreciate water most in the desert
health only during sickness
our friend when he leaves
our love when she dies?
Should we pray for less
for you to ration Your grace
to waste no rainbow?

Forgive us.
You don’t paint rainbows
just for us to see
nor make birdsong
just for us to hear.
Rebuke our terrible pride
and chastise our deism
that imagines You created only once long ago
and can’t perceive Genesis now
or Eden here
or what a new day means.

Help us to do two impossible things:
to take it ALL in (every miraculous atom of it)
and to waste our time on a rose
a place
a time
a person.

Perhaps one will bring us all full time to eternity
one blackbird to You.

Prodigal God,
may we find a millionth of the joy
that clearly is yours
Amen

[Frank Ohler, Better than Nice and Other Unconventional Prayers, Westminster John Knox Press, 1989]

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