A Place to Pray: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer by Roberta C. Bondi

By Roberta C. Bondi

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Extra info for A Place to Pray: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer

Example text

I no longer feel that I have to apologize for myself around them or defend myself against them; now I listen to them, visit when I can, remember, and most important, love them. Very rarely does a day go by now that I don't pray for the compassion and love that comes with an awareness of God's holy beauty in the lives of the other people with whom I share my world. "Hallowed be your name," I pray as I catch myself pushing away the knowledge of what it is like to be poor and demoralized, unable to find a place to live on minimum wages, to provide good food and medical care for your children.

Still, awe and wonder seized me as I listened to the narratives of the other participants' lives. To hear how the long lines of grace, betrayal, pain, faith, doubt, love were interwoven in similar and unique ways throughout the everyday details of each of our lives; to speak of them truthfully, in terms not just of our convictions but of our experience of God, was deeply wonderful. How could I ever have thought the ordinary facts of any human life were insignificant? It was only upon my return from Minnesota at the end of the second year's meeting that I could begin to articulate what I was learning from all this storytelling.

This God did not inspire us by love, but rather by another version of the same old fear and guilt I had grown up with. In the face of such an image of God and of the effort it took to please that God, of course we could not see that the Kingdom Jesus promised both for the present and for the future was something wonderful, not something dreadful. Do you know, my friend, it seems to me now that it is simply awful that I and so many other people like me should ever have suffered under the weight of either of these visions of God's ultimate demands and intentions for the world God is said to love!

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