Spill, Baby, Spill!

With the ongoing monstrosity in the Gulf of Mexico, the prayers of many have been focused on this situation. A number of people have written prayers to aid our devotions for the environment, those living in affected areas, and the workers dealing with the crisis. Some are powerful witnesses to God’s presence in the midst of difficulty and others are, frankly, well-intentioned but poorly written and worded.

Here are a few examples:

From the “Prayer Plain and Simple” blog we get a prayer embedded within their post titled “God, Stop the Damn Oil Leak…We Obviously Can’t!”

“God, step in and stop the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico! We ask this because we don’t know what else to do!  We acknowledge that humans caused this problem, that our actions and inactions are now corrupting this beautiful and bountiful part of your planet. Forgive us. And then step in to act where we cannot. Give BP engineers supernatural wisdom to make the right, rapid decisions to remedy the leak. Give them stamina and creativity that is beyond their own capacity. Bless their technology so that it works even better than it is designed. Give governmental leaders, local, state and federal, unity and focus to deploy all their energies in the right direction. And beyond all this, please reach out your hand to protect the parts of your creation that will be damaged by this disaster. We humbly come to you to ask you for your grace. May the consequences of our stupidity, greed, laziness, and ignorance in this case be less than they should be! We know we should reap what we have sown, but here, we ask for a stay in your hand of judgment. We do not deserve your pardon here, but we ask it anyway! In Jesus name, fix this problem that we so pitifully cannot!”

Here’s a prayer from the Diocese of Maine written by the Rev. John Widdows:

“As the catastrophic oil accident in the Gulf continues, O God, for the wonders of technology, we give you thanks.  For the limits of technology we pray for awareness.  For the arrogance of technology, when it harms your Creation, we pray for humility.  For the victims of this technology, we pray for forgiveness.  For the recklessness which prevents careful preparation for accident, we pray with repentance and for enlightenment.  And for our capacity to learn from this huge mistake and to minister compassionately as a society to those harmed by it, we give you thanks.  Amen.”

A priest in Alabama wrote a so-called “Litany for the Gulf of Mexico in a Time of Crisis.” It’s too long to print but here is the link.

Whatever you think of any of these prayers, I do encourage you to pray! The Gulf Coast region, the world, and indeed all of humanity demand it.

I’ll add my own prayer in the form of a haiku. And, yes, I realize it doesn’t quite follow the 5-7-5 pattern of the traditional haiku. What can I say? I’m lazy. But isn’t that part of the haiku’s allure? It’s a lot easier for the lazy poet to write a haiku than a sonnet! Plus, what possibly rhymes with Mexico?

Haiku for the Spill

Oil gushes, BP blushes
Spill, baby, spill
Go and sin no more

If you’re interested in contributing to help those affected by the spill, Episcopal Relief and Development is a great organization. They’re already doing some great work, partnering with relief agencies in communities along the Gulf Coast. Click here for more information about what they’re doing and here to donate.

And remember, just because it’s British Petroleum doesn’t mean that we Anglicans had anything to do with this disaster.


One Comment on “Spill, Baby, Spill!”

  1. Mary W. Cox says:

    Of course I’ve been writing oil spill haiku, too:

    I fill up my car
    with guilt—despoil creation
    on my way to work.

    The sky really is
    falling this time, or maybe
    we just pulled too hard.

    Dinosaurs died off.
    Now oil, they’re helping us with
    our own extinction.

    We are carbon, too—
    our molecules might power
    earth’s next ruling class.


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