Jesus said, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
When You Pray
Some days there are no words
deep sighing, tears and groans
a shattered life offered aloud
hidden behind closed doors.
The face we put in public space
is not the one the Creator sees
the face of a small child weeping
the terror of an infant drowning.
We are more or less our small selves
independent we think yet needy
crying in our darkened rooms
singing sorrow's harrowing songs.
The Divine ears are large enough
to hear the tender hearts of children
despite the bellowing of adults selves
God hears the whimpers of that child.
Make a room for the changing landscape
there is new life even as we whither
our fading an invitation to rebirth
our tears will waters the becomings.