God is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
God is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
My Beloved One,
how easily do I allow fear
to be the soil of my life.
Ten thousand fears cluster at my door:
fears of death and of life,
fears of thieves and evil,
fears of sickness and old age,
fears of unemployment and war,
fears of being shamed and injured.
How easily do politicians and preachers,
merchants, militants and advertisers
feed off my countless hidden fears,
promising protection and salvation.
Yet in you and you alone
do I find sufficient strength
to live my life unafraid.
I firmly believe that you love me
with all my faults and failings,
and if I am in your embrace,
whom or what should I fear?
Teach me the wisdom of caution,
to live with a watchful eye,
and liberate me from all fear.
O Blessed One, you are my insurance and my pledge,
you are my defense and security, my ground;
in your love is my sole safety;
of whom shall I be afraid?
From Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim by Ed Hays
The Good Samaritan Psalm
In a muddy ditch, wounded and in pain,
I prayed for help to you, my God.
A pastor ordained to be a helping hand,
lost in his prayer, quickly passed by.
A lay minister came by, looking the other way,
in a hurry, not wanting to be delayed.
In a muddy ditch I lay, wounded and in pain,
and I prayed, "O God, come to my help."
A Samaritan stopped, smiled and stooped,
and was your answer to my prayer.
A gay Samaritan, whose touch I shunned,
was your angel in my great need.
I shuddered in shame as he anointed my wounds,
lifted me in his arms and took me away.
I looked away, avoiding the innkeeper's eyes
as he paid for my room and board, saying,
"I'll be back to see you in a few days."
You sent no seraph angel but a Samaritan;
your answer, O God, was a mystery to me.
He was not one with whom I've ever shared a pew,
or one with whom I'd ever share a meal.
Your answer came through one whom you'd condemned,
at least "they" said you had.
Help me, O Mysterious God,
to understand the riddles you've hidden
inside your answers to my prayers.
From Pslams for Zero Gravity by Ed Hays
Prayer action suggestion:
Reflect on the Samaritans in your life, those whose touch would make you shudder.
Open your heart to them and welcome difference in your life.
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