A Prayer for the Aging

Last year I wrote a prayer for nameless people that were aging. Since then, the nameless people have become my parents. The timeless image fixed in my mind when I think of my parents is a portrait of youth, vitality, and eternity. My father will always be my playmate in our backyard soccer field. My mother will always be dancing to an Amharic mix-tape from back home.

Recently though, the timeless image has been corrupted by reality. They are aging. Since I wrote the prayer below both of them have spent time in the hospital for something besides a soccer injury or a slip on the dance floor.

This journey is one we share no matter where we go to church or whether we go to church. Like the rite of passage through adolescence, aging is at the same time painful and hopeful. When I have trouble making sense of new realities, I pray. Often I mumble and groan, but sometimes the groaning takes a shape that I can share. Here you go.


God. You are old.

As sturdy blue mountains

pressed together like wrinkles.

As silent earth shivering

in the cold.

As retired redwoods

that lean to touch

their damp verdant bed

and die.


God. You are time.

Some time slips by

and leaves a fragile breeze.

Other time stops

to fondle our order.


Today, it is not certain

which time is here.

But you are,

old as time.


[fbshare type="button"] [twitter style="horizontal" float="left"]