Dear God,

Last night the coyotes yipped and screeched outside my window and I thought of You. I knew they were looking for something to catch and devour and I was glad my old dog and cat were safe inside the house (and us, too). They are bold these days, standing on the front lawn in the dusk of the day, pooping in the exact middle of the road, and then letting loose just when you’ve tucked yourself into bed.

In the morning they disappear again, though I can see where they’ve been. I thought of You as they yipped and screeched in the dark making me afraid to come out, but calling me to do that very thing. Now, You know I was never coming out, but my prayers were already done for the day and they weren’t in them. I tried to think what a coyote prayer would be as they yipped and screeched at the dim light from my window or maybe more the soft round light of Your moon over them. We are not friends, Your coyotes and me. We will never be friends. Who else is like that to me, God? Who else misses my prayers and then lets loose in my head just when I’ve put the day, nicely prayed, to bed? Who else crosses my boundaries, is ready to harm and poops strategically where I want to travel? They live with the same moon, the same sun, the same You over them. O God, keep me wise with coyotes sharing in the mystery of Your creation. Amen.


Diane Strickland is in her 33rd year as an ordained minister now serving in The United Church of Canada as retired clergy. She is a Certified Community and Workplace Traumatologist, Compassion Fatigue Specialist-Therapist, and Critical Incident Responder, author and creator of trauma informed resources.

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2 thoughts on “Monday Prayer, October 18, 2021

  1. So beautiful and our yard is on a coyote path. Here is my August thought.Holy Spirit

    The coyote crosses the highway
    tail high and eyes bright.
    She meets mine,
    through the clear and shatterproof
    of my many uninvolvements.

    One leg re-mended from a break
    reminds me
    of the angles of hope
    in childhood ballet classes.
    She holds it stiffly –
    making her way three-legged,
    a sacrament
    vestige of many dancings.

    Cat owners for miles around
    are stirring suspicious
    in their dreams,

    but she trots unconcerned
    into late dry August brush,
    on the roadside.

    There are sides to every road
    and tricksters.

    The rising sun
    paints her fur on my retina,
    her path marked
    on the back
    of how I will perceive
    all my crossings.


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