Dear God,


It is the last weekend for Hallelujahs
Before the austerity of Lent.
So I should be shouting and singing: Hallelujah! Praise you, God!
And yet, to be honest, I’m not feeling it.
The snow is coming—again.
The work has piled up—again.
People I love are hurting in body and soul.
The systems of this world seem bent toward injustice.
I suppose I can muster a few Hallelujahs,
But they are not heart-felt or enthusiastic—
More Leonard Cohen than George Frideric Handel.
Yet still, I need these praises on my lips
As I prepare to enter the wilderness.
Praise be for the sky, whatever it holds.
Praise be for the appointments on my calendar, the messages in my in-box.
Praise be for the pain I feel because I am connected to others in this world.
Praise be for those working to bend the arc toward justice.
Praise be for me, alive, this day.
For the promise of tomorrow.
For the season that awaits us—
Void of Hallelujahs
Yet full of its own baffling praises.


Rev.  Joanna Harader serves as pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, KS. Her blog is, where she will be posting daily prayer devotions during Lent.

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