Prayers for a Whole Life : Day 4

a prayer for the quiet

who walked away from the noise,
help me too
to find the quiet

to be alone
you went
up to the mountain, but
there are no peaks here
to go traipsing,
their rugged scapes deterrent to the soft-footed cityfolk

I wonder
did you ever find quiet
in your own heart,
in the holy temple as you taught?
when you were issuing invitations on the fishermens’ wharf?
on the hillside before you preached?
from the back of a donkey on the palm-lined streets?
around the table, and in the blessings?
            (because that’s my job description, too:
            teaching them life’s lessons, getting them up and ready to go,
            telling them stories and sermons, leading them in celebration,
            feeding them,
            giving thanks)

I wonder
when they clamored for your attention and for your preference,
did you ever try to explain to them
that they would find you
in being still?

and I wonder
when the only quiet I perceive is that of the tomb
(the empty silence of death, of endings)
how different was the pregnant hush of dawn on that third day:
when all creation stretched its wings and woke anew
with you?

who walked away from the grave,
help me too
to find the quiet

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