Stressed Prayer

Oh lord my God my savior!
A dozen words and phrases splash across my mind
each of them an attempt to properly address the Lord of Lords
Here and now,
in the least opportune moment for all things,
when all the activity has stopped,
I remember that you are still there.

Now that the events of the day
– pots and pans clanging –
have found their future’s end
– a sharp silence –
I can allow my mind to graze through the curiosities.
The big questions
squinting perplexedly into that which is deep.

There always seems to persist an impediment in my thinking
the barrier of confusion.
My thoughts carry me away past the approachable things to the edge
It is that frontier of understanding which drives us.
Lord please,
I want to grow further and make sense of the black depths.
It is unsatisfying to come to that place of confusion
where “why” and “how” cannot frame or funnel my ignorant frustration.
What is to come of the hard questions in this life?

Anyway, I mean to also speak with you about that which I know
I know that you sustained me
I know that while I failed you miserably,
you failed to fail me.
When I look at myself, I do not see hope
When I really look hard I see a failure
I know not what to do with myself in these times of introspection,
though when I reason through it all,
I realize that my only option is to repent.

I cannot understand the love that creates a universe,
that sustains perfection,
the love that simply loves-
unconditionally and infinitely.
Help me!
Help me to remember the incredibility of your love
in the times when instinctive humanity is profane.

I’ll try again because I know you’ll help me get a little further next time.


I don’t remember the circumstances around this poem, but it feels typical of my night-time stream of consciousness poetry in high school. The file date places the poem in June 2003, during the summer between my junior and senior years. I’m happy to say that laying in bed at night wrestling with deep questions about life is still a common ritual.