Monday, March 24, 2008

A Prayer, A Dream, A Psalm of Prayer

Oh God, heal us!
Teach my spirit to restore
what I have wasted

DW Bender
prayer, March 20, 2008

I had a dream the night before last, in which I was explaining something which I don't now recall to a woman. It was mundane sort of helpful information, as if she were a customer or someone asking directions. She had a pained look on her face. I intuited what she was feeling: that she felt I disliked her. And although it wasn't how I felt at all, I questioned her directly about what her face told me. "Please forgive my bluntness; I don't wish to offend you," I asked, "but by your expression, I sense you feel that I dislike you in some way?" She responded yes, that was indeed what she was feeling, by the way I was talking to her. I apologized and thanked her for her honesty, saying that this was not the first time I had experienced that kind of reaction to the way I spoke and presented myself, recently, and that I should examine myself to see how I could say and do things differently. I felt deeply sad and embarassed, and woke up immediately.

I'm sure I had this dream in relation to a waking-life mundane online exchange on information about the use of a foodstuff as an appetite control tool, which became misunderstood and strained, which I quickly bowed out of, so as not to make it worse, email being too a limited tool for conversation and expression. In a related sense, I think both women in the dream represented aspects of my personality, and the opportunity to examine, change, grow.

Below are copied gracious words to live by, today and always. It expresses a heart-prayer which has been mine for many years, to be real, to be authentic (and another is to be blessed and made a blessing) but now, have found it put into actual words, today in a modern but timeless psalm written by Joseph Bayly:


Lord of Reality
make me real
not plastic
pretend, phony
an actor playing out his part
I don't want to keep a prayer list
but to pray
nor agonize to to find Your will
but to obey
what I already know
to argue
theories of inspiration
but submit to Your word.
I don't want
to explain the difference
between eros and pilos
and agape
but to love.
I don't want
to sing as if I mean it
I want to mean it.
I don't want
to tell it like it is,
but to be it
like You want it.
I don't want
to think another needs me
but I need him
else I'm not complete.
I don't want
to tell others how to do it
but to do it
to have to be always right
but to admit it when I'm wrong.
I don't want to be a census taker
but an obstetrician
nor an involved person, a professional
but a friend.
I don't want to be insensitive
but to hurt where other people hurt
nor to say I know how you feel
but to say God knows
and I'll try
if you'll be patient with me
and meanwhile I'll be quiet.
I don't want to scorn the cliches of others
but to mean everything I say
including this.

from Psalms of My Life, Joseph Bayly
Tyndale Treasures, copyright 1969
found at Barry Blog - designsmith


qualcosa di bello said...

thank you for putting this out is a beautiful reminder to be kind in our dealings with others, to make that extra effort to consider how we present ourselves to the world. i really believe that so much offense that i take in another is not due to the other's malice of intent, but rather the other's preoccupation with 'stuff'. i say that because i *know* that i have offended when it was never, ever my intent...only to find out at a much later date & after the festering of damage. i have made it a daily prayer to literally see God in everyone that i am to meet that day & to meet that person 'where they are' in the manner that God wills it be so. when i examine my conscience before bed, that is most often my area of trouble. & so i keep trying. your haiku to this effect is just beautiful!

Debi Bender said...

Thank you, Debbie, for your kind words and for sharing your heart.

I've not been attending to my blog or writing new poetry for a little while, and so, I'm terribly tardy in answering comments and even email.

cordieb said...

Very inspiring and true. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Peace, light and love,

Debi Bender said...

Thank you, cordieB