Hello Hump Day Readers. I am down in Yuma this week teaching Adult Vacation Bible School at Gloria de Cristo church. This is a congregation that doesn’t sit on their butts—they do so much in their community and I’m always surprised how many people from many other denominations come to this church instead of their own. It is their pastor and the people who embrace everyone—no matter what. And that brings me to what is called “The Reverse of St. Francis’ Prayer” – read it below:

Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.
Where there is apathy, let me provoke;
Where there is compliance, let me bring questioning;
Where there is silence, may I be a voice.
Where there is too much comfort and too little action, grant disruption;
Where there are doors closed and hearts locked,
Grant the willingness to listen.
When laws dictate and pain is overlooked…
When tradition speaks louder than need…
Grant that I may seek rather to do justice than to talk about it;
Disturb us, O Lord.
To be with, as well as for, the alienated;
To love the unlovable as well as the lovely;
Lord, make me a channel of disturbance.

Gloria de Cristo church is like this—they have no problem with disturbing, provoking and questioning when people are hurting, in need of a friend-a job-groceries-and all kinds of help and no one steps up to take their hand and give them comfort, love, and a hand-up in life. I call this “good disturbance” and it definitely shakes up the “status quo.”

I confess that I was a brat in Confirmation class. Talk about disturbing—but I just wanted answers and I felt like I was treated like a child that was too young to understand. I drove my very-young-pastor crazy—always pushing him to answer the “why.” We are good friends today and honestly, he will often say “as a young pastor I needed your push.” And that is what we all need today if we are sitting in our “own comfy complacent world” and giving not a care of what is going on outside of our “center of the universe.” For those who profess their faith in Christ but choose to live like this, I wonder—what did they learn about faith? What Bible were they using?

Jesus calls us to step-up and when He calls us we need to remember He has already equipped us for the task! If we are surprised it is because we are not using the talents the Holy Spirit has given us. God will shake us up, wake us up, and definitely disturb us when we do not exercise our faith. How can we spread the good news of the Gospel if they can’t get out of their ‘own selves’?

Believe it or not, the Reverse of St. Francis’ Prayer is credited to Sir Francis Drake! That may seem very contrary for a seafaring man who could be both pirate/slave trader and yet very benevolent when he saw people in need. History tells us after his last failed exploration, he became very ill, and sought God daily with his prayers for forgiveness. He also gave away his money to a variety of social outreaches and to those in need that he didn’t even know. To me, I think God “disturbed this man” to get out of his own ego—which was large—and do the right thing, thus this prayer should provoke us to do the same.

In Deuteronomy 15:10-11, from the Message Bible, we read:
“Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.”

I don’t know about you, but I believe this fits right in with what God calls us to do. In closing, I invite you to pray with me: “O God, disturb me…for the alienated, the unlovable, the hurting…and so much more. Our world is in great pain and sharing your love can be the start for someone to learn of you and live in your incredible grace, AMEN.”