05. Help

Help: the practice of expansion or petition, strengthening through weakness.


3 responses to “05. Help

  1. A Prayer

    I wish I could be bound to you by faith alone.
    I wish I could be bound to you by gratitude alone.
    I wish I could be bound to you by wonder alone.
    I wish I could be bound to you by forgiveness alone.
    I wish I did not have to be bound to you by need as well –
    Desperate, dull, run-of-the-mill, old-fashioned need,
    Which is also called weakness.

    Even my resistance to admitting my weakness is a weakness.

    And so I have learned, no, am still learning,
    To let my weakness turn my heart to you –
    Just as does a sense of your presence,
    A feeling of gratitude,
    A thrill of praise,
    Or the pang of shame and regret.

    So again, now, I cry out like a swimmer going down:
    Like a child feeling alone:
    Like a learner who thought he could do it:
    Like a hiker lost in the forest at night:
    Like a prisoner tied to a chair:
    Like a mother just before delivery:
    Like a runner about to quit:
    Like a fledgling on the edge of the nest:

    I name what I lack, what I need, what you can supply:
    Guidance. Patience, Courage. Resilience. Peace.
    Endurance. Strength. Freedom. Insight. Hope.
    Wisdom. Restraint. Compassion. Direction. Protection.
    Sometimes I am in such need that I do not even know what I need,
    And so I just cry,
    Trusting you to translate my frantic panic into a reasonable request.

    Even in the cry, I am being helped, for in requesting
    Greater strength instead of easier circumstances
    I am choosing strength.
    In requesting patience and understanding rather than revenge,
    Or reconciliation rather than divorce,
    Or peace and hope in trials rather than exemption from trials altogether,
    I am choosing the better rather than the worse.
    Even in the cry, I am being helped, for in turning to you
    I am neither giving up hope nor giving in to despair.

    In admitting my weakness and needs, I am rejecting self-delusion and contraction,
    Pretense and bravado.
    Stubborn independence melts and expands into humble interdependence,
    And that is good.
    In letting my pain drive me to you, and not to anesthesia in its many forms,
    I am being saved from addiction, and that is good.
    In transforming my many needs into a single need for you,
    I am sabotaging my weaknesses, just as confession
    Sabotages my sin, and that too is very good.

    That is good, but still I want more:
    For when I cry, Help!
    I need help!
    And I need even more than help in general.
    I need help from you!
    You, here, with me in this mess, for me!
    On my side, at my side!
    You! Savior! Healer! Strengthener! Liberator!
    You! Calmer! Teacher! Leader! Consoler! Provider!
    You! Restorer to sanity! Opener of doors! Maker of ways!
    Giver of all good things!
    Help me! Help me!

  2. Victory (Psalm 3 / Breast Cancer Song)

    Facing before us our enemy
    Frightened we go to war, fearing defeat
    It rises against us so strong
    Tries to break us down, make us weak
    Says to us, “All hope is gone.”

    But God, Your shield surrounds us
    And You are the fortress within us
    When we cry out in agony, pain, and fear
    From the sacred earth
    And within each person
    You reply, “I am here.”

    So we march, march on like soldiers
    Victory’s ours to be won
    Holy and healing God strengthens us
    Rest we’ll find
    And peace of mind, knowing
    We’ll wake with the sun

    Rise up within and around us
    We call out “Deliver us, God!”
    Help women strike down this enemy
    Like those before
    We’ll win once more, lead us
    To victory

    Healing and strength, God,
    We ask for your blessing
    Lead us like Esther to victory
    You are our hope and in
    You we take comfort
    Grant us the will and
    the courage we need

    Then we’ll sing, sing out like songbirds
    Knowing in You we have hope
    Only from God does our strength come
    We sing Your praise
    Our voices raise, knowing
    This battle’s won

    So we’ll march, march on like soldiers
    Victory’s ours to be won
    Holy and healing God strengthens us
    Rest we’ll find
    And peace of mind, knowing
    We’ll wake with the sun

  3. From Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation’s daily email:

    According to a certain theology, when we sin we are punished, and when we are good we are rewarded. This makes sense. But it isn’t what the sages, saints, or Scriptures tell us about God. This “theology” is designed to urge us to save ourselves, and unfortunately this is the theology that many people live by: we get back as good as we give to God. This means that our salvation depends totally on us and on our ability to become perfect, or at least good. Thank God, it’s not true.

    This is not what Jesus teaches us. It’s much truer to say that our weakness and brokenness bring us to God—exactly the opposite of what most of us believe. It can take a lifetime, even with grace, to accept such a paradox. Grace creates the very emptiness that grace alone can fill.

    St. Paul stated this with elegant concision: “’For power is made perfect in weakness.’. . . For whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

    Adapted from On the Threshold of Transformation, p. 235, day 226
    Used with permission of Loyola Press.

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