June 24, 2020 — Spirit & Verse is a monthly column of original poem-prayers composed by Cameron Bellm, a Seattle-based writer and mother of two whose "Prayer for a Pandemic" went viral, bringing solace and comfort to many struggling during COVID-19.
Prayer for the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist:
"Every Age Needs a Prophet"
John the Baptist, out in the wilderness,
Called us to prepare the way of the Lord.
Hearkening back to Isaiah,
He assured us:
The mountains must be felled,
The valleys raised.
What would he make of our crooked roads,
Winding through racism and injustice?
What would he make of our rocky terrain,
Littered with boulders of inequality?
He would, I think,
Cry out even louder.
Every age needs a prophet,
Every land needs excavation,
A lifting high, a bringing low.
Here in this wilderness,
Let us grasp firmly our shovels.
And let us lift our voices high.
Cameron Bellm is a Seattle-based writer of prayers and spiritual essays. After completing her Ph.D. in Russian literature at the University of California, Berkeley, she traded the academic life for the contemplative life, informed by Ignatian spirituality and Catholic social teaching. She and her husband have two young sons, and, blessedly, playing with Legos often nurtures her spiritual life as much as reading the lectionary. She writes at krugthethinker.com and on Instagram, @krugthethinker.