Mother's Day, Prayers for Pastors

Trigger Warning (a Mother’s Day prayer)

Two of my three - one hopes they forgive all the things I messed up...
Two of my three – one hopes they forgive all the things I messed up…

Great Mother,

Today I’m preaching about memory,
about times
when I only thought of you
as Father,
about times
when I only knew one way
to think of myself,
about people
who might not like the way I turned out.

And even though
I won’t be talking about
that last thing directly,
I know that every time we talk about
the places from which we came,
or the people who raised us,
the people who taught us,
about the things we believed first,
someone listening may be hurt.

And I don’t know how to offer up
a sufficiently collective trigger warning.

Except this:

Life is hard; faith is harder.

I could catalog the losses,
the messes I made,
the injuries
inflicted and received.

Life is hard.

Faith is harder.

It’s worth it, but it’s harder,
living an examined life,
striving to please You,
working out our salvation,
even following the via media –
these things are all harder
than just claiming the popular,
being in the moment,
going out to brunch.

I wonder what triggers You,
the One whose bosom holds
all our weeping, all our losses?

I wish I could send you flowers,
but at least I can call you,
this way.

Life is hard, yes,
and faith is harder,
yet I am grateful for it,
grateful for intangible mercy,
grateful for a mother
better than I can ever be,
grateful for a Mother who
never disappoints,
never abandons,
never dies.