Prayer With Noise


instead of silence,

noise led my prayer,

on the front porch,

fronting a busy road.

Normally an annoying intrusion, noise became a sounding bell, a call to prayer.

The cars rumble by to work, some aroar. I pray each rider balances toil and joy, that their work is meaningful, that their workplace leadership is humane, that they have friends there. I pray they make a living wage.

Trucks pulling large metal landscaping trailers loaded with gas-powered equipment rattle-bang loudly along the uneven road. I pray for the earth, that we shall poison and exploit it less as we are awed by its gracious beauty. I pray the crew is paid a living wage.

Rat-a-tat hammering—nail guns firing—from new townhome construction a half block south jabs through the air. I pray for affordable housing. Instructions are shouted in Spanish. I pray these immigrants feel welcome, that their skills are rewarded aptly.

I hear the dreaded leaf blowers. So often I retreat to the back deck to avoid their shrieking whines. This time I stay. And again pray for the earth, that what we call “yard waste”—so rudely pushed around, eventually, despite being treated as a nuisance, somehow, somewhere—decays its way back into the soil. I pray the leaf blower handlers—their ears muffled from the piercing sound—make a living wage.

I pray these busy people have time for prayer, stillness, contemplation—that they feel God’s healing presence.

Between noises, I hear birds.

I pray that all these sounds impact

how I see

what I hear

how I act.