A collection of inspirational videos and text featuring America’s finest religious thinkers, stories of personal faith, and reflections on spiritual topics, gathered from television broadcasts of 30 Good Minutes, a weekly multifaith program in Chicago.
In her message, Honest to God, Dr. Carol Miles offers a meditaton on the prayers of the Psalms. She says, "The language of prayer we learn from the Psalmists is the language of lament, the language of complaint. It is a unique dialect of the language of faith, but it is the language of faith nonetheless."
The Rev. Dr. Carol Miles has served in ministry to youth, university students, and young adults for three decades. An abiding interest in theological education led Dr. Miles to teaching positions in the Southwest and the Midwest, first as Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX, and subsequently as Associate Professor of Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, in St. Paul, MN. Most recently she served as the Executive Director of Westminster House in Berkeley, CA, and as Presbyterian Campus Pastor..
This archived 30 Good Minutes broadcast was first aired in February 2003.
Reflection on Prayer by Karyn Kedar
There is a story told of long ago that a bird—a magnificent bird, the most beautiful thing in the world—flew into a kingdom. The king looked at the bird and realized if he could somehow capture this bird then he could be part of the most beautiful thing in the world, that had all the colors, that was large and glorious. So he ordered his people to capture the bird, but the bird flew to the highest tree and they didn’t know how to get it.
The people came together and started to think, “If we form a human pyramid, the biggest guys on the bottom on all fours, the next people on their backs and shoulders, and backs and shoulders until we can reach the top of the tree, then we can capture the bird.” And so they did until they got to the very top. Then the youngest, smallest child of the community climbed on the backs of all the people, she got up to the top of the tree and went to reach for the bird...
The story has an ending, but, frankly, I never remember because there are many possibilities at this point. It’s possible, for instance, that the girl captured the bird and brought it back to the king. It’s possible that the bird flew away. It’s also possible that she sat cross-legged, staring at the bird in enormous awe.
What if the bird were prayer? What if prayer, being that elusive, came into our lives as the most beautiful thing in the world? Sometimes we can capture it. Sometimes it evades us. And sometimes in a moment of prayer, we just sit like a child in awe.