Poetry Prayer Uncategorized

A Prayer at the Start of Lent

2013-02-17 11.10.32Holy One,
Will you be disappointed if I confess my unreadiness?
It seems I can still feel the creekiness in my knees
as I regain my feet after kneeling at the manger.
The trek to Bethlehem was long this year.
Yes, despair gave way to joy as your Light
danced from horizon to Bethlehem to my heart.

Then there were days of Light, an opportunity to see
you, my neighbors, and myself through your eyes,
with better vision than I am accustomed to.
Yes, I heard Beloved echo down through the centuries,
touching, transforming, claiming countless lives,
including my own.

And just a few days ago, I watched with Peter, James, and John
as you were transfigured to show forth your glory and repeat
Beloved for those of us who might have missed it.
Your glory was enough to cast out demons
and fill a fickle crowd with awe.

Now you are in dust and ash,
reminding me of my frailty,
inviting me into repentance,
into the fullness of life as your beloved.
I should want to travel this road with you,
knowing that new life waits at the end.

Forgive my reluctance.
This journey seems too close to the last.
I’m travel-weary from the trip to Bethlehem and not
sure I can make it through the wild places, the desert places.
I feel the weight of my humanity –
the pain, the grief, the reluctance that slow my steps…
The moments of judgment, racism, fear that have gone unchecked…
The impulses to hide, to run, to clothe myself with apathy…
Forgive me.

Holy One,
My intentions are good, you know they are.
I know there will be times when what I intend will not be what I do
and I will give in to the temptation to hide in the familiar, shadowy places.
Find me there.
Accompany me through it all
until I come to the cross
when I will endeavor to watch and wait for you
so that once more I may rise to the new life
you offer now and always to your

I’m lacing up my boots for this journey.
I’m trusting you to show me the way.
And, yes, I’m grateful for your patience and your love
which hold me fast
in the moments when I could fall apart.

I’m almost ready.

In your mercy, O Lord, lead the way.


RCL – Year C – First Sunday in Lent – February 14, 2016
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Romans 10:8b-13
Luke 4:1-13

By rachaelkeefe

Hi. I am a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. Find out more about all of my work, including spiritual direction and suicide prevention, on my website (

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