Lake Eerie, Photo Credit: Alicia Randolph Rapking

I have cried this day
I have cried out to the wind and the water
And the presence of God’s spirit
That I know is here
In this lonely and dreary winter place
Is my cry
Is my longing
A one-word Breath prayer
That pours from my soul
Like the water of Lake Erie
Pours across the stones on the shore
Creating shadows
And shades
And patterns
Too beautiful to dismiss
Without paying attention
To the selfless flow of water
Clearing away
putting things right
Smoothing away the rough edges

It is the one gift that I want
In the midst of this Christmas
But will I know it if it comes
When it comes
How do we know
That restoration
Has come
It comes in tears
From grief and pain and loss
It comes from hopes and dreams
From faith and believing
It takes courage
Because it changes us
It moves us
From longing to purpose
And action
I want restoration
of the moments
Of love and laughter
Of face to face
Word to word
Poured forth from
Severed by vast distance
Of time
Of space
Even when we are standing side by side
I want restoration
Of our senses
So that we can see
So that we can know
So that we can hear
The sound of Rachel
Weeping for her children
So, we can feel what it means to be
I want the restoration
Of a church
Where the Gospel is lived out
And all people
All sons and daughters
Are fed
And clothed
And visited
And released from captivity
And housed
And encouraged
And accepted
And cherished
By all of us
Even if they
Do not look like us
Or sound like us
Or think like us
Or love like us
Or see the Holy
As we do
Or at all
I want restoration of peace
Is that possible
Have we ever known peace
That can even be restored
I want peace
Moments of peace
Lifetimes of peace
Centuries of peace
that build upon each other
And expand
And engulf
And embrace
Until it is an eternal moment
for this world
I want restoration
In this new day
For all people
A restoration that brings
The absence of war
The absence of fear
The absence of neglect
The absence of judgmental notions
That thwart
God’s unconditional love
A restoration that brings
Hope and harmony
Mercy and acceptance
Forgiveness and new chances
For all of life to thrive
I long for restoration soon
Before we forget
What can be restored

Rev. Alicia Randolph Rapking is the Director of the Upshur Parish House/Crosslines, Inc. and is an ordained United Methodist pastor serving the West Buckhannon charge.  She is a writer, contemplative, artist, and seeker of justice and peace.