why has it come to this, O Lord?
in your great green growing world, how is that we have come to
counting our bones?
we lament the loss of limbs,
cracking our gnashed teeth
and recalling our former flesh:
full of great glories and many members.
have you forsaken us, o God?
or have we too long rested on our reputation,
content with counting bare bones?
forgive us, God of abundant life,
for our powder dry mouths when your living water is
latent in us and among us.
and are we yet alive?
and can these bones live again and dance?
deliver us, Lord of broken bone and torn flesh;
deliver us, God of the downcast Spirit and the bone-weary ones.
deliver us from our past selves, and the sometimes crushing weight of our inheritance.
deliver us from our present fear, and our crippling contentment with cutting our losses
and counting our bones.
deliver us to our future, to your kingdom, to a wild and dancing hope
that moves us to eating richly only once we have invited all our neighbors to the table,
even those whose differences scare or frustrate us.
deliver us to a fleshly hope, not one that is biding its time until we might evacuate the premises,
but one that builds your Kingdom today, petition by petition, vote by vote, person by person.
deliver us to a future with hope, O God, our God,
one in which brokenness is stifled by grace,
bones are covered in blood-pumping vibrant flesh,
and death is robbed of its approaching victory by resurrection.
for we pray it in the name of one whose death-defeating dance
has given us life
a prayer for the general conference of the united methodist church in tampa, florida, 2012
after reading and meditating on psalm 22
gregory a. milinovich