Jonah, A Prayer

When people complain

About how hard

it is to help others.

The inconvenience to put cloth across

their face–

or that “they can’t do that to their children”

when we ask them to teach them to mask.

And I shudder when they refuse to put a highly tested medication

into their bloodstream, to bolster our bubble of protection.

I think about what happened to Jonah

When he was sent to help Ninevah.

God followed the boat with a storm

and the ocean, with a big fish.

I wonder how it feels to be

in the belly of the fish,

praying to be thrown up,

so that you can go out,

covered in vomit,

and realize,

that you are still called to help people.

Welp, here we are God,

Covered in Vomit,

help us to take those steps–

in flood and fire, in hurricane and disease,

in senseless war, horrific evictions and systematic racism

even when things are completely overwhelming help us

to pick ourselves up, and remember that even cover in goo

we are still called, to be the helpers

and maybe take a nap under a tree now and then

when we need one,

so that we can look back,

and see the work that we have been doing,


It all counts, help us to see how it all counts

I pray.


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Shannon A Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

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