Lockdown Prayers 11


Dark shadows, Lord, follow me.
They come in off the street,
they slink silently into my mind
where they take root –
weeds choking off the light.
They come in on my clothes,
my suit, collar, uniform.
They cling to me in fat weighty clumps
that will not leave.
Dark shadows Lord, seeping in around the windows,
the doors, the TV – silent as night.
They back me into a room Lord,
and then a room within the room,
and then a tent within the room within the room.
I cannot escape these messengers
of shortened breath, darkness and dankness.
They sap my will, my strength, my light, until,
the shadow applauds morosely before
the cowering small flame that I am, Lord.

And yet I know you are there.
Why do you not send your holy fire to burn,
destroy, desolate these vampires in my mind?

And yet I know you are there.
Why do you not send your Son to hold my hand
and guide me from these depths?

And yet I know you are there.
Why do you not send your presence to comfort me
and tell me I’m worthy, redeem my soul?

My recovery starts with a tiny spark, Lord, not a flame.
I begin coming through only when I have become part of.
My mind begins working again and I’m able to crawl out
– perhaps to the bathroom or the kitchen.
I begin to regain, to heal, to right, only when I have hit the deck
and found there is a doorway into a dark passage
that lights little by little until, at last,
blinking and unsure, unsteady but intact,
I step out and begin to draw life to myself again, piece by piece.

Where were you, Lord, in all of this?
Why did I feel so alone, so bereft?
Why do you let me get like this?
Will it ever end?

At least,
I suppose,
in the middle of it all,
I still speak to you.