Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Time to Pray

"And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."
-- After the Storm (Mumford & Sons)



I have been listening to Mumford & Sons a lot recently.
I love their lyrics; I love their musicality; I love the depth of their ruminations on life.

It's been a heck of a Spring in Northern Ireland, and there is a lot to ruminate on.
The murals depicting masked gunmen recently put up in East Belfast, whatever the motives, are the most visible reminder of where I am.
Multiple high-profile bomb threats and scares - from a bomb planted on a bus going into Dublin prior to the Queen's visit to a coded bomb threat which interrupted the main part of a major motor bike race on the North Coast - serve as further reminders that the extremist Nationalist groups of Northern Ireland are still active.
And as part of preparations being made for the 12th of July (the celebration of Protestant William of Orange defeating Catholic James II), the extremist Unionist groups are also hard at work: Union Jacks are being strung high, curbs are being given a fresh coat of red, white, and blue paint, and bonfires are already massive.
Sectarianism is in full bloom.


If there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens,
then this is a time to pray.
("And after the storm, I run and run as the rains come. And I look up, I look up, on my knees and out of luck, I look up..")
So! Would you pray with me from wherever you are?
Get a piece of paper and some pens (aka markers).
Now, it's time to pray in color.
As you pray, simply 'doodle' on the page - whether writing words, drawing pictures, or simply creating patterns on the page.
And ponder these words as you do so:
"And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."

[Can I get an amen?]

Through the thistle and weeds, the buds of hope still appear.
The Queen spoke in Irish during her visit!
And despite ash clouds and tornadoes, Mama Foltz is on her way to Belfast. :)

And so we stand, hand in hand, united in what we stand for. Let this be a land where the time for peace, love, mending, embracing, dancing, laughing, building, and healing is now.
In grace and peace.

- on the side of a pub in Belfast-

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