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.


Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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