I memorized the Amida so I can say it daily. Now, sometimes, I can taste the different prayers, feel them on my lips, sometimes sweet as honey, sometimes so bitter and filled with salt tears that it is hard to swallow. Today is my father’s birthday, and I miss him – I miss him more with every year.
You’re all powerful. You bring life to all.
So why do I feel so empty, so dead inside?
You who lift up the fallen, lift me.
For despite the decent life that you’ve given me,
I feel like I’ve fallen down.
Somewhere, I’ve missed a step.
“No,” You say, “that’s your job.
I don’t need you crying at me
Like a child with a boo-boo.
I’ve sent you plenty of rowboats.”
You who heal the ailing, heal me.
I feel sick with grief and loneliness
And I don’t have an answer to that.
Won’t You take away the pain?
“Hey, I have people with real problems,”
You answer. “Pull yourself together.
I care because I care but really –
There’s stuff to do. Get on it.”
Fine, then, be like that!
I don’t need You – I don’t need the nothing You give.
Leave me alone and I will ignore You
You who free the bound,
Although I feel bound by my tasks and worries
I don’t ask You to set me free.
I set You free – free of all expectations,
Free of connection
Free of me. We are done.
“Not so fast,” You answer. “We are never done.
I am everywhere – you cannot leave.
I am everything – you cannot ignore me.
We have a connection – a relationship.
You have a job to maintain it.
We need to find a way to make it right.
I will never abandon you,
No matter what you do or say.”
I feel stuck – more bound than ever.
I give up! Surrender.
I am not in control – I have no answers.
I sit, empty and sad and lost,
I can’t move, I can’t act – all directions seem wrong
Like one dead, I do nothing.
Keep faith with me, You who keep faith
With those who sleep in the dust.
I need You. Even if You can’t fix anything.
Even if You can’t help me.
If all I can do is work and wait
And endure the helpless, sick, trapped feelings.
Then, witness. Wait with me.
“Yes,” You say, “I will keep faith with you.
I am here. “
Blessed are You who brings life to all.