Above the Noise: Calling Out to God in the Midst of Brokenness

Jun 16, 2023 | Articles, Prayer, The Interior Life

By Lucy Mervine

“I don’t like cities,” I said to my friend. And here I found myself visiting her in the heart of the hustle and bustle of New York City.

“You know why I don’t like cities?” I continued.

“Why’s that?” my friend asked.  

“Because it’s hard for me to feel close to God here. I feel closed in. It’s hard for me to reach inner stillness, to be in touch with my heart.” I went on to say, “I know God is with me, it’s just hard for me to be present and attentive to Him in all the noise and craziness.” 

I went to Holy Mass and Adoration that afternoon at St. Rita’s in the Bronx. I prayed to Jesus that He might grant me grace to be attentive to Him, to see Him in the places that I haven’t recognized Him before; mainly in the filth, the cacophony, and the turbulence of New York City. 

Amen and hallelujah, our gracious God answered my prayer abundantly! No, the streets did not get any cleaner, nor did the language become any purer around me. But something awakened within me. Emerging from the iglesia (church), my eyes were drawn to a group of men dancing and singing to music. The sun seemed to shine brighter, and the radios blared in celebration rather than distraction. In a word, the ordinary streets of el barrio (the Spanish-speaking quarter of the city), which had previously overwhelmed me, became beautifully captivating.

And it was at this moment that the Lord brought me back to reflect upon my own heart. My desire for order and cleanliness is an outward expression of my discomfort with the brokenness and chaos of my human heart. Just as it brings me anxiety to look upon and dwell within the dirty city streets, so too do I squirm when faced with the tumult of my own heart. 

But our merciful Lord loves to dwell within our own messy hearts most of all! There He is the beggar, the poor disheveled man on the curb. He knocks and never quits His pursuit of us. 

Below is a prayer I wrote and prayed with. It is the prayer that the Lord gave me to help me see Him in the big and overwhelming city. Wherever you are (externally and internally), I hope this prayer can help you approach your own brokenness with courage, knowing that Jesus will never leave us to face the darkness alone. 

Jesus, I pray for greater poverty of spirit, to always cling to You and You alone. To come back to You, to see You working in the mess of life, and to truly accept this world as it is, not as I would have it be. Because brokenness will follow us. Because the brokenness is within us, we cannot expect it to go away if we enter into community or relationship. We must face head-on the reality of our brokenness, not run from it.

Jesus, I invite You to enter into my life as Healer, as Restorer. Conquer my heart and reign solely there. Your Presence is encouragement to go into the unknown haunts of my heart, but solace all the same. You never call us where You have not been before. This is my confidence. Let us go boldly (Hebrews 4:16).

My Jesus, You are truly the Way, You are truly the Truth, You are truly the Life. May I find myself falling more in love with You every single day. With reckless abandon, may I seek You in all places, Your heart, my soul’s desire.

May I seek You in the wonder of the other, my neighbor. May I seek You in the glory of creation, which was fashioned out of pure love for us. May I seek You in my own heart, which reveals an unrepeatable aspect of You. And more than anything, may I seek You in the suffering, the cross, I embrace in this life.

Be my abundance in poverty, in silence, in the void, in the restlessness. Be my oasis in calamity, the noise and chaos of life. Let me all at once be firmly rooted, yet totally abandoned, defenseless to Your love. Keep me fiercely and vulnerably in love. Keep me weak, but strong, in You alone.  

“Jesus, I surrender myself to You. Take care of everything!

Lucy Mervine

Lucy Mervine

Lucy writes whenever and wherever inspiration strikes. Every day is approached as an opportunity to embrace her mission as the Father’s warrior of joy. She enjoys paying careful attention to the wonders of ordinary moments and using creative avenues to share her findings with others.


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  1. Molly

    This prayer is exactly what I need at this time of life. Thank you. I’ll be checking out your website.

  2. Bev Fournier

    Beautiful, lyrical, poetic. This reminds me of St. John of the Cross and The Dark Night – one of my favorite spiritual pieces. He leaves me in tears with the last stanza: “All ceased and I abandoned myself, leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.” How do you duplicate that? Lucy, you almost did! This was truly inspirational and will become part of my daily prayers.
    Thank you for your devotion and this needed prayer. God bless you.

  3. Mimi

    My heart is broken from the rejection of a mentally ill daughter. Yet Jesus holds my heart a d brokenness in His gentle hands, binding it up and healing it. That cacophony you speak of is my life. This prayer speaks to me of Him.


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