“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves,”

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Bless me Father for I have sinned

I have treated money as though it were an abstraction

And have placed the needs of people ahead of the GDP


Once when I was dreaming 

And another time when wide awake

I have imaged to myself a world 

Where workers keep the value they create

Where healthcare, housing, and dignity are available to all


I dreamed I looked a stranger in the eye

And felt the difference and sameness in between 

I knew that what I saw in them was past my comprehension

And I did not need to judge them

Or to make them feel or think like me 


Bless me Father

Cover me in grace

But not the grace that puts us back to sleep

Not the grace that covers over systems of oppression

Whose logic touches everything

And tells us there is nothing we can do


Come with me Father now

And leave these holy walls

First we will eat, then we sing,

Then we will study and sleep


Maybe you will have the dream

And wake up closer to Gethsemane

A little farther from the certainty

And cruelty of cheap grace


D.B. Ruderman