Tuesday, December 09, 2014

My Christmas Wish List

Dear God,

I don't believe in Santa Claus, even though I sometimes treat you like you are Santa Claus. I come to you with long lists of people with needs and problems, tragedies around the world, and all my fears and failures - and I bring lists of and plans for solutions to all those problems. And I expect you to do as I ask in a timely and efficent manner. I expect you to take my list and check it twice, and then be super nice, saying "yes" to everything right away.

I am reminded of that scene in Bruce Almighty where Jim Carrey plays You. In one scene, he's reading through all the prayers that people are sending your way. Tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of prayer requests flow past him on the cosmic computer monitor. In frustration, he says, "Yes," to all of them. And the entire world is plunged into chaos. Is that what would really happen if we all got our way and you agreed to and with everything we asked for? I bet it would.

So even though I know that I won't get the nod for all of these things, I'm gonna write and launch my list anyway. I have come to believe that even if prayer doesn't change any of the situations I pray for, it will definitely change me. Prayer reminds me that I am not in control of much. Prayer pushes me to think about people other than myself and situations other than my own. Prayer deepens my trust in Someone or Something far beyond myself - in You. Prayer changes the way I see the world, my world, my life and my story.

Lord, please help me to be and think and act more like you. Help me to love and forgive and laugh and trust. Help me to enjoy this life you've given me and not worry so much about what I mistakenly think I lack. Help me to notice and honor the people I live with, live near, and even those that I see only in passing. Help me to want to be more involved in the lives of others, especially those who suffer and ache and desperately need love and a listening ear and a shoulder on which to rest. Help me to be willing to risk my security and safety and comfort for the sake of those who have none. Please, please, please.

Look at me; I haven't even gotten to my official Christmas wish list and I'm already asking you to do so much for me.

So what do I wish for? Just a few simple things.
* I wish for an end to starvation, terrorism, poverty, homelessness, and war.
* I wish for an end to ebola, AIDS, kanswer, diabetes, and bipolar disorder.
* I wish for all children's hospitals to have to close down because there are no longer any sick children to care for.
* I wish for an end to violence, abuse, and the fears that often trigger them.
* I wish for an end to jealousy, comparisons, and greed.
* I wish for freedom, justice, and peace for all people everywhere.
* I wish for a deeper understanding and experience of the love that prompted your precious son to come to earth as a baby to live among oppressed, abused, mistreated people.
* I wish for a nation and a world in which oppressed, abused, mistreated people find rest and safety, healing and wholeness in you.
* I wish for all eyes and ears and hearts to be open to the hope that you offer to the world.
* I wish for a week when chocolate, coffee, soda, and licorice will neither do harm to my internal organs nor leave pimples on my face. I need just one week of a full-fledged sugar binge, Lord. I know that while you can certainly handle all the other wishes on this list, my final request might be asking a little too much. Please forgive me for my selfishness.

Thank you, Lord, for considering my humble and modest wishes.
Your adoring daughter, Gail

PS. Okay, okay, okay. I hear you. That last one, about the sugar binge, nevermind.
But all the other stuff, please, please, please! I'm begging you.
I need you. We need you. The whole world needs you.

PSS. Okay, okay, okay. I hear you. All that other stuff? We need to do some of the work to fix that stuff ourselves, don't we? You've already given us more than we need to solve most of the world's problems. Please help me to be willing to be the answer to some of these prayers. To give. To love. To listen. To serve. The befriend. To encourage. To act. To be still. To offer hope. To work for freedom, justice and peace. To be a beacon of hope. To be peace. To be light. To be full of grace and truth.

PSSS. If I do some stuff to help other people, could you help me out with the sugar thing?

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