Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Marney Ward (Canada). Blue Lace cap. Watercolor.
Lies We Wrap in Love
Dear God, we often ask you to invade our lives, to plumb the secrets of our hearts unknown even to ourselves. But in fact we do not desire that. What we really want to scream, if only to ourselves, is 'Do not reveal to us who we are!' We think we are better people if you leave us to our illusions. Yes, we know another word for a life of illusion is bell. But we are surrounded by many caught up in such a hell-people too deficient of soul even to be capable of tying, but only of self-deceit. Dear God, we ask your mercy on all those so caught, particularly if we are among them. The loneliness of such a life is terrifying. Remind us, compel us to be truthful, painful as that is. For without the truth, without you, we die. Save us from the pleasantness which too often is but a name for ambition. Save us from the temptation to say to another what we think she wants to hear rather than what we both need to hear. The regimen of living your truth is hard, but help us remember that any love but truthful love is cursed. The lie wrapped in love is just another word for violence. For God's sake, for the world's sake, give us the courage and the love to speak truthfully so that we might be at peace with one another and with you.
—Stanley Hauerwas, Prayers Plainly Spoken (Downer's Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1999)
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.