God with Dirty Hands
Seize life! Eat bread with gusto,
Drink wine with a robust heart.
Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning.
Don't skimp on colors and scarves.
Relish life with the spouse you love
Each and every day of your precarious life.
Each day is God's gift. It's all you get in exchange
For the hard work of staying alive.
Make the most of each one!
Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily!
This is your last and only chance at it,
For there's neither work to do nor thoughts to think
In the company of the dead, where you're most certainly headed.
God, I bet you have dirty hands
– caked with soil from creation,
dusty from the road (times you've helped friends up when they've fallen),
creased and cracked from your endless dipping into the waters of chaos
(desperately wishing to bail us out).
I bet they're weather-worn and work-sore hands,
definitely at the end of rolled up sleeves …
And how we imagine your hands is important
because your hands mirror your heart.
God of the dirty hands,
You didn't call us to be apart from the world,
but in it up to our elbows.
You didn't ask us to fold our hands
and pray piously in a quiet corner,
but to offer them outright in the corners
where people have been pushed and driven and can't get out.
You never asked us to be indifferent
but to try to make a difference.
So, God with the dirty hands, do not let us deceive ourselves.
When we choose to "wash our hands of the whole sad affair,"
we aren't remaining neutral, we're siding with the powerful.
When we choose to wash our hands,
we are playing right into the hands of those who depend on apathy to stay on top.
Take our hands God and put them to work
– our hearts will follow.