What Sort of Foot or Hand Can I Be If I Don’t Work? (Prayer)
Unemployed… redundant… laid off… unqualified… surplus labour.
These words cut into me, severing all feeling of usefulness.
What kind of body-part am I now?
What sort of foot or hand, eye or ear, can I be if I don’t work?
Does the body still need me?
I’ve got this ideas I must be active and busy,
doing big things in your name;
prophesying to the world,
Yet it is the everyday struggles
that can be so demanding:
just about making ends meet,
maintaining some dignity.
I might not have been the greatest worker
but now I’ve been put on the scrap heap.
We need to learn a new way of being.
Show us how to be prophets in every situation,
Employed or unemployed,
Underpaid or overworked,
so that the justice of labour shared
may truly build up your body
in honour and rejoicing.
(Janet Lees & Bob Warwicker, from URC Prayer Handbook 1994)