Good Friday reflection: Pry me off Dead Centre

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Revd Jeannette McHugh
21 March 2008

… we urge you not to have received the offer of the grace of God all to no purpose.
For scripture says, "At an accepted time I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.
Lo! Now is the accepted time. Lo! Now is the day of salvation."
—St Paul writing his second letter to the church at Corinth 6:1-2

Pry Me Off Dead Centre

O persistent God,
deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.
Pressure me that I may grow more human,
   not through the lessening of my struggles,
   but through an expansion of them
   that will undamn me
   and unbury my gifts.

Deepen my hurt
   until I learn to share it
   and myself
   and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears
   until I name them
   and release the power l have locked in them
   and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion
   until I shed those grandiose expectations
   that divert me from the small, glad gifts
   of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers
   crouched behind the curtains of propriety,
   until I can laugh at last
   through my common frailties and failures,
   laugh my way toward becoming whole.

Deliver me
   from just going through the motions
   and wasting everything I have
   which is today,
   a chance,    a choice,    my creativity,    your call.

O persistent God,
let how much it all matters
pry me off dead centre
so if I am moved inside
    to tears    or sighs    or screams    or smiles    or dreams,
they will be real and
I will be in touch with who I am
and who you are
and who my sisters and brothers are.
—Pry Me Off Dead Centre, by Ted Lode, from Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle. 1984.

St Philip's Anglican Church,
cnr Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602.