There Are Things I Do Care About

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by Ted Loder

Holy One,
most of the time
you don’t seem very close or real to me—
only a word, an ought,
a longing, maybe, a hope—
and, for the most part,
I don’t care much about you,
and that is the not-so-pretty truth of it.

But there are things I do care about:
myself mostly,
and some people I feel close to—
families, friends, children,
most of all children.
I do care what happens to them

So, I do care about love,
about being loved,
and about loving
(or trying to);
and I wonder about it,
how to do it,
and what makes me want to do it.

With those close to me,
I care about laughing,
and crying,
and learning,
and talking honestly (a little);
and fighting openly and fairly,
and forgiving (a bit more),
and admitting I want to be forgiven
and need to be (once in awhile.)

I care about things,
about getting them
and being gotten by them;
And I do care about money
and all the things I do for it,
and with it,
and what it does to me;
And I care about being a little freer
of all that, somehow,
because I care about being secure
core deep.

I care about my neighbors,
at least some of them,
sometimes;
and about all the things that would make it better,
and perhaps easier
for us to live together;
and the hard decisions and sacrifices
it would take for that to happen.

Which means I do care about justice,
though mostly from a distance,
because I care about what it might require of me;
and then I get testy or silent
but am haunted but it
because something in me
won’t let me stop caring about it,
even though I often wish I could.

So, I care about my enemies,
and am tired of being angry
and suspicious so much,
which is such a waste;
and I care about the least—
the hungry
and the sick
and the terrorized
and the exploited of the earth—
because I care about peace
and long for it inside and out,
and am weary of being afraid
for myself and my children.

I care about this tiny fragile blue planet,
this home, this mother earth and all her offsprings,
all the creatures who share the mystery of life.
And I really do care about beauty,
about the songs in me,
the poems, the stories;
I care deeply about
the wondrous, puzzling,
aching struggle
that I am;
I care about this joy I feel
flickering sometimes, flaring sometimes,
when I touch hands or eyes
or minds or sexes or souls,
and ache, then, for more.

I care about living—
living more fully,
abundantly—
and about my urgent longing for that;
I care about what makes me restless,
makes me reach
and stretch
and grope for words,
for dreams,
for other people
and…
for you.

Holy One, you,
I do care about you,
sometimes fiercely,
or I wouldn’t be stumbling along like this,
trying to pray,
trying to put myself in your way;
I care about you,
and such is my faith,
however faltering it is;
and I trust that, past words
you care about all these things
that I care about,
care about them more,
infinitely more,
than I care about them;
and that you care for me,
even when I am careless
of the things I care about.

from Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle, p. 62-65

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