Give Us Ears

I’ve been reading through a very interesting book right before I go to bed each night. It’s called Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth by Walter Brueggemann, and it is a collection of prayers that he used to open his seminary classes each morning. One in particular echoes the sentiments of my heart when it comes to hearing God’s voice above the cacophony of daily noises that constantly surround me. The prayer is called “The din undoes us.”

“Our lives are occupied territory . . .
occupied by a cacophony of voices,
and the din undoes us.
In the daytime we have no time to listen,
beset as we are by anxiety and goals
and assignments and work,
and in the night the voices are so confusing
we can hardly sort out what could possibly be your voice
from the voice of our mothers and our fathers
and our best friends and our pet projects,
because they all sound so much like you.
We are people over whom that word shema has been written.
We are listeners, but we do not listen well.
So we bid you, by the time the sun goes down today
or by the time the sun comes up tomorrow,
by night or by day,
that you will speak in ways that we can hear
out beyond ourselves.
It is your speech to us that carries us where we have never been,
and it is your speech to us that is our only hope.
So give us ears. Amen.”

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