This prayer is based on the story of the Canaanite woman from Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30. I think it is a helpful prayer for times of grief and difficulty because it acknowledges that, if we dare to be honest, sometime we just feel angry at what seems to be God’s response to our situation.
O Most-Nourishing-One, if I asked you for bread,
would you hand me a stone?
I’d believe in the stone,
if it came from you!
Oh, God, where is the bread?
I’ve sat with open hands for hours.
Is my heart as open as my hands?
Or is this just an empty symbol,
devoid of meaning
devoid of reality?
Is my closed heart laughing at my open hands?
I hear the songs they sing in churches:
You satisfy the hungry with gift of finest wheat…
And I wonder, where is this gift of finest wheat?
Have I become the Canaanite woman to you, Lord?
Are you afraid to throw your bread to dogs,
to the unworthy
Well then, I’ll put on her mind instead of yours.
I’ll wear her faith instead of your arrogance.
Even the dogs get the crumbs, Lord.
God, you cannot hide from me.
You cannot scare me with your face of absence.
I scare myself with this hunger for your presence.
I will break all rules to possess you.
To be nourished by you,
I would go to every table in the world.
I would leave no stone unturned to find you
lest when I turn it over
it be changed to bread.
I come looking for bread,
But if you’re saving it for your children,
I’ll gather up the crumbs if you insist.
I’ll make a meal on leftovers
and rejoice that I have been so blessed.
I feel so powerless
so little and so poor
so terribly wide open
It hurts to be so hungry
so dependent on your bits of grace.
Even the dogs get the crumbs, Lord
I’ll gather up the crumbs
- Macrina Wiederkehr