I chose these images because for me they symbolise the everydayness of a new day dawning, sometimes with spectacular beauty, sometimes overcast and colourless, but nevertheless a day in which I will probably encounter some of the battles Ted Loder describes in his book, Guerrillas of Grace. It's a favourite of mine.
Ted combines poetry and prayer with an honesty and rawness that captures the struggles of life.. He puts into words the ache and longings of my heart in an everyday, down-to-earth way ... the way I so often think.
Guerrillas and grace sound quite contradictory, two words that you wouldn't expect to find together and yet one dictionary definition of a guerrilla is 'a freedom fighter' … someone who stands against “Both the subtle and blatant pressures to conform”.
Loder said, “Certainly Jesus was the pre-eminent guerrilla of grace; he confronted repressive institutions and liberated captive minds and hearts with his words and his life”. Jesus taught a revolutionary way of living ... to love my enemies, forgive those who mistreat me and pour myself out for "the least of these".
Guerrillas of Grace is a collection of prayers, prayers for the battles of life … prayers that inch me away from conformity towards being free and real before God as I stand in his wonderful grace. Prayers for those who want a radical relationship with Jesus rather than a safe, comfortable, rule-keeping type of Christianity.
I share this prayer without comment, hoping that it speaks to you as it does to me.
O persistent God,
deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I might grow more human,
not through the lessening of my struggles,
but through the expansion of them
that will undamn me
and unbury my gifts.
Deepen my hurt
until I learn to share it
and my needs honestly.
Sharpen my fears
until I name them
and release the power I have locked in them
and they in me.
Accentuate my confusion
until I shed those grandiose expectations
that divert me from the small, glad gifts
of the now and the here and the me.
crouched behind the curtain of propriety,
until I laugh at last
through my common frailties,
laugh my way to becoming whole.
from just going through the motions
and wasting everything I have
which is today,
Ted Loder, Prayers for the Battle, Guerrillas of Grace.