Friday, June 13, 2014

Break, I prithee, break

It's almost the end of the play: King Lear.

The old, stormy-tempered king is dying.  And here's one of his remaining friends, Kent: "Break," he cries, "I prithee, break!"

If you've seen the series Slings and Arrows (and if you haven't, you should), you may remember Paul Gross (yes, the Mountie from Due South) whispering this to William Hutt -- but that's beside the point.  The point is, Kent hasn't given up on Lear yet.  In a moment, he'll see that it's time to let go -- "vex not his ghost" -- but he's not there yet.  This Kent still desperately wants Lear to "break" away from his path, from letting his life slip away.

Sometime during the past few weeks, Kent's words became a central part of my prayer life.  Yes, I know God's not a flawed, stormy, dying old king.  But the urgency of the need is captured there.  And yes, there are people praying right this moment whose need is more desperate than mine.  Nonetheless, I cry out to God, the God who has a tendency to break into our stories with his own: break (in), I prithee, break (in)!  Show up, as you have before and will do again!  Bring me meaningful work, and favor for my book proposal, and a return to the health I (think I) had before the renovations -- and those are just the top of the list.

And I hear the echoes of all the Scriptures about waiting on, and/or hoping in, the Lord.  So I wait, actively, earnestly.  And I pray.  

Break, I prithee, break.

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