Mara: A Bitter Prayer

Call me Mara Today, God

Because I am bitter,

and the back of my throat aches

from too much crying,

as the grief hits me again, and again

And the place I call home

is a nation that likes to “protects” the unborn

but locks up immigrants & Black and Brown kids, cannot feed thousands of children,

corners the the market on formula and then doesn’t regulate it properly,

stops the payments for vulnerable families, destroys queer families,

and totally reopens the nation before any babies can receive vaccinations.

Call me Mara, God, Embittered

that people want “young families” don’t come to church

in a culture where parents, especially mothers, are expected to do every single thing on their own, and are judged for every imperfection.

Call me Mara, God,

For I am broken;

When there is a market for bulletproof backpacks,

when the news is about the latest, and which of the massive shootings–

where domestic violence and white supremacy is acceptable

to the degree that no warning signals are put out for terrorism

and armoring up, Lord God Almighty, Seems to be the only way us humans seem to be able to respond to any kind of violence.

Call me Mara, God.

Because despite voting, and letters, and marching and the sobs of countless families…




has changed.


us Mara


Because, these too are our Children

And tomorrow, my throat will still be sore from crying

and I will still taste the bitterness of tears–that’s what home tastes like now.

I bet you want to be called Mara too, God.

Because they are your children too!

Selah! Mara, Selah!


Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Shannon A Thompson

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