Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Prayer Out Of Nowhere

I wrote a prayer and I don't know what to do with it.  Isn't that weird?  I wrote it sort of for a friend and I wrote it to God and I think I wrote it for the boys to stumble upon someday, hopefully when their journey becomes as confused and convoluted as mine.  I tried to show it to you a while back in a post called On Purpose but I wasn't allowed to.

May I Call You?

Some call you Earth Mother or Universal Love. The Energy or The Source. You are water and fire and wind; you are stone and ice and stillness. You are the quiet between atoms; You are the majesty of thunder. You are pain and suffering; despair and hopelessness.

You are Everything. You are. That is too much for me. Forgive me.

May I call You Father?

May I use a simple truth I know to shape You for me? I understand the love

a father has for his children. Not because I have children, not because I was a son.

No. It is in a deeper place.

There is a place in our very souls upon which is etched, burned, blistered, the primal

need for our fathers. The need to know we came from good. To know, beyond measure,

that we are beloved.

You worried our souls with that, burdened us with the unflinching, unblemished love for

fathers so we would remember You. We honor You because You honor us.

May I call You, Father?


A spider swings in the Wind that fuels a fire that sparks a mind that thinks of you. A baby

screams in the same Wind as the heron flies. Music floats without support and finds

the place in me it should.

Blown, whispered.

May I call You Spirit Wind?

There, in the frosted breath. There, in the sigh of lovers. There, in the trembling voice of grief. There, in the infant yawn. There, in the chilled vapors of death.

May I call You Spirit Wind?


I want to build for You an altar of my heart. I want to lay upon it flowers and fruit,

wood and meat. Sheaves of wheat for bread, grapes for wine. I will offer clay

and paint and paper and quill. I will adore You for your gifts.

May I call You God?

I will worship you. Because I should. For you are my maker and source. You are

righteousness and mercy and justice and I should lay in supplication before you,

adoring you for your goodness.

May I call You God?


I will speak to You, I will be with You and You with me. Our unsure path one, mine. Our

one purpose clear, Yours. You will speak to me as a fellow journeyman and I will

accept that You know me. We will talk of fear and loneliness. Tears of injustice,

blows of intolerance, hateful words of jealousy and betrayal with come between us.

We will fight, I will hate You.

May I call you Brother?

We will reconcile, we will sing our song. We will walk together, shoulder to shoulder,

our past together, our future unknown, into a purple sun.

May I call You Brother?


I am made and loved in the forge of the womb. You are all life. You are leaves and roses;

amoeba and ram. You are my warmth and everlasting solace, You made a place for

me. You have and shall always protect and shelter me, uplift and celebrate me.

May I call You Mother?

To be so cherished from beginning to end. To know that You shaped me. To know that You

will never doubt me. To know that I am for Someone and Someone is for me. You.

The beginning of my circle.

May I call You Mother?


I know that you are Father, Spirit Wind, God, Brother and Mother. You are all and so

much more. You are Hope and Love and Humility and Grace and Joy.

May I call You Lord?

Lord? I wonder about those who see none of You.

To Whom do they give thanks?


Faith is tricky, challenging, difficult and imperative.  I am afraid we'll never teach it right to our boys.  I'll never cover all of the options, never be able to give a definitive answer, never share the fantastic palette with which they might paint their masterpiece of hope.  But we will show them that it is a direction to go, a place to dwell, a way to give thanks.

I said when I started this today that I didn't know what to do with my prayer.

Maybe, actually, I do.

There is a young woman named Paige, who, through an act of profound understanding and grace, makes herself a vessel of God's love by carrying prayers people send her up a mountain in California and burying them in box.  I was deeply moved by this.  In a note I sent her I wrote: "In that hike up the mountain, you turn a prayer into praying."

Her website is called Project Prayer Box and I sent her this prayer and I am glad for that.

I hope you don't mind too much when I get like this, but, honestly... I want the boys to know I got like this, and I probably always will.  Thanks for going with me today.

I wrote of my own hope for a place for my own prayers in this post and I wrote a bit more on prayer in this one.


  1. First off, I think the prayer is special - don't know how else to say it.
    I don't know if you teach faith. I mean you set the example, answer the question, explain what you think, but I think it is unique. Much of faith comes from feeling.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Larry. I don't think we do teach faith; we can only build a frame and hope the walls and windows and roofs are built by our children. My very best to you.

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  2. Um, yeah, that was pretty terrific, Bill Peebles. Just wanted to point out that you write from a place that's deeper than most are willing to go. Thank-you.

  3. I'm afraid Faith in not something you can teach. It is a feeling. If you feel you have taught it you probably should rethink your feelings.

  4. Beautiful and poetic. Thank you Bill for writing this. I believe faith is taught by sharing through living. This really was wonderful.

  5. I'm not a religious guy, but this is just lovely.

  6. This made me think of being outside, closing my eyes and opening my heart.

  7. You can always print out your prayer (or write it down, I appreciate the need for actual physical pen-to-paper writing too) and fold it up and slip it into a book. Forget about it. Let it disappear into your bookcase. Then, years from now, you'll open that book and say "what's this?" Or better yet - one of your kids will find it. I think one of the best things we can do when we don't know where to put a piece of writing is to lose it - literally. Then when you find it, you'll be as excited about it as the day you wrote it. That tactic doesn't work for the checks you write for bills though.