Monday, August 17, 2009

Prayer of an Unemployed Man, Or Telling Mountains to Move

The way spring follows winter, there are signs of the economy blooming again. Just a few little buds peeking through the snow, but I do believe we are on our way to much better for most who have suffered job loss and worse. I hope, don't you, that we don't forget the lessons left in wake of loss (and there are always lessons in the wake of any loss). That we remember that our jobs and our savings can disappear and that we are more grateful for our daily bread. More careful with our spending. More compassionate with those who are down and out because now we realize that really and truly, most of us are just a few paychecks away from homelessness.

I found an old musty book of poems published in 1941, with the Great Depression not fully in the rearview mirror yet. One of the poems was called The Prayer of an Unemployed Man and it was if the poem's author was reaching across time, because the meaning had suddenly become unbelievably needed and relevant here in the Great Recession of 2008/2009. For those who are still waiting for a job, a house, and their bank account to have money in it again... I offer this little bit of empathy from a man who has been there. May you feel a little less alone today.

Prayer of an Unemployed Man

Here in the quiet of my room,
I come to Thee for friendship; to feel
That Someone is with me, though unseen.
All day I have seen a multitude of people,
But I am still lonely and hungry for human cheer.

No life has touched mine in understanding,
No hand has clasped mine in friendship;
My heart is empty and my hands are idle.
Help me to feel Thy presence,
So that the disappointment of this day
Shall not overwhelm me.

Keep me from becoming cynical and bitter;
Keep me warm and human, and set a new faith
Before my eyes - a new hope to live by
And a new spirit with which to overcome discouragements
Guide me to that very necessary thing
Of life - work!
Abide with me and be my friend. W.C. Ackerly

For further encouragement I would like to steer you to one of my favorite authors and wonderful friend, Patricia Raybon. First to Patricia's most recent blog post on how to remember our Source in hard times. Titled: "Fries with that?" --

And if you enjoy that appetizer of her writing style, then I would love to suggest her book, I Told the Mountain to Move. It came to me in a moment of deep felt need, and shabby though I am at prayer, it taught me how to come to God with my overwhelm, and to trust. Not through sermons. But through story: Patricia's personal and vulnerable struggle to make her faith real in the muck of life's problems. You can order an autographed copy, on SALE (!) at
Tell Patricia I sent you:)

1 comment:

  1. Love this prayer, Becky. So timely. So right. Thank you for sharing!