I’m still working my way through Miss Clara’s Prayer. I wasn’t sure what I would do with this next line:
who will not compromise under pressure.
When I first read the words, I thought, “Isn’t that the trouble?” It seems to me that we have an unfortunate ability to create high-pressure environments where compromise is difficult. Instead of listening and presenting reasoned opinions, insults are hurled and opposing views silenced.
But then I challenged myself to think of Biblical examples where people refused to compromise. As I did, I found that I could pray along with Miss Clara on this line, too.
Bible stories began coming to mind for me: Noah living a righteous life in a wicked generation, the wise mother of Moses laying his basket in the river, Shadrach, Meshak, and Abendego refusing to bow to the idol, and Daniel who kept praying when doing so brought him to the lion’s den. Most of all, I thought of Mary and Joseph and how they raised and protected baby Jesus. God’s kingdom on earth relies on everyday people doing their part to preserve life and the faith: “Bless the Lord, o you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word obeying the voice of the Lord.”
I made a collage of coloring pages of these great Bible stories and colored them during my daughter’s dance class. As I colored, I overheard one of the mothers saying that she waited 15 years to be able adopt her daughter. I drove home thinking more about the mother of Moses. The whole world was blessed by her imagination, courage, faith, and hope that preserved the life of her son. It’s hard to imagine a world without Moses.
God, I pray for those who do the right thing, no matter what the cost. I pray for parents and guardians doing their best to raise children and for the teachers and the work they do. Please be with all those who work to protect us: first responders, doctors and nurses, caregivers, our military, police officers, and air traffic controllers. I pray for clergy who teach the faith by word and example and for your church where it is persecuted around the world. There’s enough real pressure in the world; forgive us when we create them with just words. Lead us to be better! Thank you for people around the world who do your word and obey your voice to preserve life and keep the faith. Amen!