James Tissot, The Tower of Siloam (Le tour de Siloë), 1886-1896 – from the Brooklyn Museum Online Collection.

Holy One of Power and Glory,

We wonder why bad things happen
and look for explanations
that will reassure us,
hurrying past disaster and loss.

We sometimes think the injured
are the very worst sinners,
outside the circle of your care
and beyond our need to consider.

We make assumptions and judgments;
we lash out to win the argument
without trying to understand
what sin really is or how we commit it.

Contain us when attention must be paid
but we would like to turn away.

Convict us when we point the finger
without considering the circumstances.

Chide us when we assume your mercy
is only for our kind of people.

Cultivate a fruitful spirit in us:
clarity, compassion, generosity, and grace.

In Christ’s name. Amen.

Martha Spong is a clergy coach and executive director of RevGalBlogPals. She is co-author of Denial is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), with Rachel Hackenberg, and editor of There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, a collection of essays by members of the RevGalBlogPals community.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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