A Child Laughs — Prayers of Justice and Hope (edited by Maria Mankin and Maren C. Tirabassi) Pilgrim Press, May 1, 2017, asks the question — what does it take for all the children in the world, to be not only fed and sheltered and safe but also to be able to laugh. More than one hundred themes and issues crucial to hope and justice were crowd-sourced to create this collaborative anthology of fifty-two reflections from seventy-seven writers in eleven different countries. Of course I would love to have my readers buy this book, but even more I want you to hear some of these voices, each so very different. So every week I have been sharing a prayer or reflection or poem from one of these.Lent is a special time when readers of my blog receive perhaps far too many posts, so this will be suspended. So for Mardi Gras I share this life-affirming poem by Laura Martin who says of herself:Laura Martin is an authorized minister in the United Church of Christ. She worked in homeless services for thirteen years and met many women, men, and children who had experienced insecurity, abuse, war, and lack of sanctuary. She’s been deeply impacted by their testimonies in words and in their lives.
Perhaps what Jesus really said was
“I am the bread of life.
whoever comes to me will share my hunger for what can be,
for what Has Been Started,
for what is born in fragile places.
for the unscripted love in the day’s theater,
for what is told in trees that give shade
and birds that lean into the fold of wind.
Whoever looks for me will discover my hunger
for children to learn the cadence of play
rather than the posture of war.
Whoever seeks me will know my
thirst for the long drink of Justice,
found only if we go to wells together, and for the way we can laugh and pray
and break rules
all the way there.