Monday, July 17, 2006

Rewriting the History of August 29th : A Prayer

Thank you for letting me understand
homelessness, living without power,
without television , without cool air in the heat.

Thank you for letting me understand
hunger, the pleasure of dry clean clothes and
the relief of place to sleep.

Thank you for letting me understand
the deep and overwhelming sadness
when forces, beyond our personal control,
take the loved, the familiar, the usual.

Thank you for my needfulness and
Thank you for my newfound empathy
for those were homeless before the storm
and homeless now, for those hungry
anywhere, for those in need everywhere.

Thank you for the opportunity you provided
to help my neighbor, to be my brother’s keeper,
to serve food, to patch roofs, to clear yards,
and to start mending that which was broken.

Thank you for the chance to change ourselves,
from a reprieve from the normal commercial day,
for teaching us to make do, to get by, to improvise,
for drowning our conceit, complacency, callousness
for silencing the noise , for stopping the clock,
and for the chance to act our best when the worst occurred.

Thank you for the people who reached in
pulled out the living, cradled the dead,
comforted the broken and torn apart,
wept for the splintered and uprooted.

Thank you for the people who didn’t wait
who came right away, who opened their homes,
who emptied their shelves, their closets,
who cleaned, fed , healed, held us,
who told us our spirit was amazing,
and who keep on coming.

Thank you for people who measure
their faith by their actions, and measure
their action by its consistency with their faith.

Thank you for all the people we have met,
who are new friends, new loved ones,
new brothers and sisters, new neighbors.

Thank you Katrina. Not for wind,
not for water, but for the appreciation
of the things no storm can shatter,
no water can wash away,
no wind can move.

---Written by R. and Mr. C


Songbird said...

Well, you don't need me to say this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. And a big hug to Mr. C.

peripateticpolarbear said...

Why can't I remember who R is? Mr. C I remember and he's a rock star for writing this.

reverendmother said...


I think the feeling I'm feeling is awe. Just awe.

T said...

The power of words!This is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing it!

St. Casserole said...

R. is our long-time friend.

I'm proud of them for this and thankful that Mr. C. gave me permission to publish the prayer here.

St. Casserole

cheesehead said...

This is stunning. Hug them both for me, and tell them it is from T&C.

(They won't know who that is, but no matter.)

Quotidian Grace said...

Ditto everyone else. Will you use this prayer in worship?

Marie said...

What everyone else said. I'm just moved. It's incredible. Thank you for posting it.

revabi said...

Just powerful. Thank you. and Thank your friends.
What a post. I am humbled.

Sue said...

This is so moving and powerful. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind comments. Mr.C

see-through faith said...

This deserves INTERNATIONAL recognition. A prayer that we all can pray ... with our hearts forever changed by Katrina

Thank you

Cathy said...

May I post this on my blog with appropriate credit?

NotShyChiRev said...

Wow. Just. Wow.

reilly said...


Your longtime friend,


aboutadopt said...

I just wanted to let you know that my 13 year old had to pick a poem to memorize and recite in his school. He came to me with yours and said ..'mom i found the perfect poem" and it is yours! Thought you would enjoy knowing that. Thank you for your beautiful words....The Tebo's

QuakerDave said...

Hope you don't mind if I post this on my blog, in honor of the anniversary this weekend. If it's a problem, please email me and I will take the post down. It's a beautiful poem.

Anonymous said...