Call Me 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,
and cannot
strike that will not feed thousands of children,

Corners the the market on formula
and then doesn’t regulate it properly,
stops the payments for vulnerable families,

totally and actively
destroys queer
and families,

and reopened the nation
before any babies could 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,
and its somehow acceptable for THIRD GRADERS learn Tourniquet techniques, God no!

when the news is about the latest, becomes background noise
domestic violence
and white supremacy is acceptable
And there are no warning signals are put out for terrorism

Lord God Almighty, Seems we that we are stunned..unable respond to violence.
Call me Mara, God. Because despite voting, and letters, and marching and the sobs of countless families…






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!

We are all Mara.

Selah! Mara, Selah! Amen.

*And then we say Happy Mother’s Day as if its a “Good” thing and not further gender violence

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

2023 version

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.

One thought on “Call Me Mara (a bitter prayer)”

  1. We could have stood shoulder to shoulder in the 70s and 80s…and on! Now you stand, in the name of God, and I am so grateful for your prophet’s vision and voice. Your are blessed to be a blessing…and you are! (and thank you for having a ‘conversation’ with me as I write liturgy and prayers for Sunday….I’m a full time chaplain at a regional trauma hospital and standing in the pulpit, even once a month, can be a bit challenging. TY)

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