Poem: “Prayer Requests at a Mennonite Church” by Todd Davis from Some Heaven (buy it here). © Michigan State University Press.
Pray for the Smucker family. Their son Nathaniel’s coat and shirt were
caught in the gears while grinding grain. Nothing would give, so now
he is gone. We made his clothes too well. Perhaps this is our sin.
Pray for the Birky family. Their son Jacob fell to his death in the
granary. He was covered in corn before they could stop the pouring—
chest crushed by the weight, seed spilling from his mouth. We hope
something will grow from this, besides our grief.
Pray for the Hartzler family. Their youngest has left the church and no
longer believes that Christ died for her sins. She buys clothes at the
mall. Tongue pierced, nose as well. Her shirt shows her belly where a
ring of gold sprouts. We pray she will remember that her Lord’s side
was pierced, that His crown held no gold, only the dried blood of His
Pray for the Miller family. Last week their daughter, who lives in
Kalona, lost her baby at birth. Child only half-formed: head turned the
wrong way; heart laid on the outside of her chest; one leg little more
than an afterthought. Lord, help them know that life may come again,
that we are all made whole in heaven.
Pray for the Stutzman family. Their son fights in the war. We call him
back to the Prince of Peace, to our Savior who knelt to gather the
slave’s ear, brushed the dirt away, lifted it to the side of his flushed face.
May we leave no scars. May we ask no blessing for the killing done in