Friday Prayers for Egypt: Running in Place with One Shoe

God,

Egypt seems to be both moving and waiting at the same time. It is as if everyone is waiting for the other shoe to drop.

If the first shoe was Morsy’s election, the second is where he will take Egypt. He gave a preview trying to restore parliament, but there has been only static since then. Three weeks and he still does not have a government in place. In fact, Brotherhood outrage over his now ‘interim’ cabinet is what caused them to field a presidential candidate in the first place.

Much of the reason for the waiting is that key issues are now in the hands of the judiciary – a notoriously slow entity in Egypt that has proved its ability to be ‘timely’ several times during the transition. Will parliament be reinstated? Will the military’s constitutional declaration be overturned? Will the Shura Council fall? Will the constituent assembly to write the new constitution survive?

No one knows, and the judgment on all was postponed again. More waiting. Where is the shoe?

The last judgment on the constitution illustrates this period best. Unsure of its ultimate existence, the committee frantically rushes to complete its work. If it can put forward a document it will create a reality less easily dismissed, even if ruled illegal. The military is then likely to form a new committee that will produce the constitution. Egypt may well face a future in which it has two. Will the people accept either?

In the middle of all the activity, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived to greet President Morsy, other political forces, and the military. It provided enough of a distraction for each side to accuse the other of being behest to American patronage.

God, may this be a breather. Give every player to reflect on where Egypt stands. Turn them from their plans and strategies, if only for a moment, to wonder if their personal conduct blesses the nation; if it blesses the other.

How hard it is to do this, God, and maintain any level of integrity. This week Egypt’s long time spy chief died. He was accused of countless tales of torture, with his eye aimed especially at curbing the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Morsy will give him in a military funeral; his colleagues, meanwhile, can hardly suppress articulating he is now accountable to you.

Is Morsy a hypocrite? Are his colleagues judicious to hold back their loathing? Or is Morsy extending honor even to an enemy? Are his colleagues lacking in similar grace?

God, renew their strength. No one stands righteous before you, but give wisdom to Morsy and his advisors to run Egypt well. Do the same for those who oppose them. And in your greater wisdom and will, produce a future for the best of Egypt.

In fact, God, may all shoes fall before you in humility and awe. May Egypt be holy ground and all go barefoot in your presence.

Amen.

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