Prayer of the Frog
by Walter Hollenweger
Sometimes, I feel like a frog,
Happy in the waterpond—until I run out of air and creep on land.
Happy in the fresh air, until my skins hurts in the glaring sun and I plunge back into the water.
Why did you make me an in-between creature, neither fish nor fowl?
Why am I not a flamingo, or an eagle or a mighty roaring lion?
Just a frog?
You did not ask me whether I wanted to be a frog,
Nor whether I wanted to be at all,
Nor did my parents ask me.
So, I am, what I am, an in-between being.
When I am with the feminists they call me “macho”
because I want to pray “Our Father.”
When I am with the pacifists they call me a war-monger
because I do not believe that the abolishment of the Swiss Army serves world peace.
When I am with the military they call me a pacifist
because I find it a scandal how we treat the conscientious objectors.
When I am with the Christians, they say I am not a Christian
because I find many of their convictions superfluous.
When I am with the Non-Christians the say I am a Christian
because I believe in Jesus Christ.
When I am with the progressives they say I am conservative
because I do not know how to re-organize world trade justly.
When I am with the rich people they say I am a leftist
because I expect them to share their riches.
When I am with the Catholics they say that I am a Protestant
because I do not believe in the infallibility of the pope.
When I am with the Protestants they say I am a Catholic
because I like the Catholic liturgy.
When I am with the Ecumenists they say that I am a Pentecostal
because I would like to see more of the Spirit in the ecumenical movement.
When I am with the Pentecostals they say I am an ecumenist
because I am convinced that they need the ecumenical movement.
When I am with the critical exegetes they call me “pious”
because God sometimes speaks to me in Scripture.
When I with the uncritical Bible readers they say that I do not believe in the Bible
because I do not accept their facile interpretations.
O God, you alone know what I am.
Help me to believe that this is enough.
You made me an in-between being so that I can be an evangelist.
But God it is a tough job.
Sometimes I am confused and terrified.
Strengthen my faith so that I am
A cheerful in-between creature, a happy frog.
From Pentecostalism: Origins and Developments Worldwide (1997)