Tag Archives: the praying life

Learning to Sit in a Room Alone

..all man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly
in a room alone.  Blaise Pascal

After living over sixty years in the same house, my ninety six year old mother recently moved. We had cajoled, pleaded, and argued with mom about a move for some time. The more we talked the more resistant she became. We brought in her pastor, a beloved nephew, her doctor, and her friends to convince her of the merits of assisted living. Once I tricked her into visiting a place “just to check it out, mom, see what it’s like.” She pronounced that the wallpaper was horrible and remained adamantly against moving anywhere beyond her own backyard.

Home health aides came five days a week. She received meals on wheels and wore a bracelet on her wrist with a button to connect her to emergency assistance. She spent most of her time alone in her room drinking her tea, keeping an eye on the neighbors, and watching the birds and squirrels through the long Iowa winter.

“I know what these places are like,” she told me. “They dope you up. I’ve spent a lot time in these homes.” She had – first, with my bedridden, great Aunt Ethel, then my grandfather, and finally my father. She chuckled telling the story of going to see Dad one time and finding a resident sitting next to him holding his hand. My father, even with Alzheimer’s, always cut a fine figure with the ladies. As mother walked up to bring him some ice cream, the woman looked at mom sternly and asked, “Well, who are you?!” “I am his wife,” mom told her.

The last time I tried to convince mom to move, she silenced me with the words, “Why should I leave here when I am so content? I have everything I need.”

Well, yes. Why should she leave? How rare to be content and feel you have everything you need. She lived through the Great Depression and missed out on many things most of us would call necessities. In her deprivation she had mastered the priceless art of being content with what she had.

As my siblings and I prayed and fretted, God intervened. Compression fractures in her back and being in so much pain she couldn’t leave her chair accomplished a move for mom. She was carried off to a place, as Jesus told Peter, “You do not wish to go.” (John 21: 18) A week later, settled in at the care center, mother said, “This is a good place. They are very good to me here. The food is good. It is wonderful they have places like this.”  When we asked her if she wanted us to get her a TV for her room, she declined saying, “Oh I watch TV out in the common area. I have everything I need here.”

Some days I look out on the world and see a bunch of self righteous, entitled brats, all pushing, shoving, and scheming to get what “what’s owed them.” Other days I see the fear and desperation of people with shallow roots, who must hold themselves up with external supports of power, influence, possessions, and success.  I recognize the brats and the shallow rooted, because it takes one to know one. Daily I face the temptation to shore myself up with the perishable things of this world. I know the thirsty grasp for water of those with shallow roots.

Without a vibrant interior life and a self deeply connected to Goodness in whatever name one gives it, we do not fare well in seasons of loss, storm, and disaster. Without the ability to be self reflective and to enjoy the company of one’s self, I am a prisoner chained to a cell built of my own insatiable neediness.

I heard a story recently about psychologist Carl Jung who once advised a very busy and successful man, who came to him for treatment, to spend time each evening alone. The man returned to the Dr Jung to report he felt no better. He had shut himself up in a room, read, and listened to music. Jung told him, no – no reading, no music. He was to do nothing, just be with himself. The man protested that he could not possibly do that. He didn’t like being with himself. Dr Jung responded, “Why this is the self you have been inflicting on others for fourteen hours a day. If you cannot stand to be with it, how can you expect others to?”

You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen. Simply wait. You need not even wait. Just learn to become quiet and still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.     Franz Kafka

When the time comes, when I am carried where I do wish to go, I want to be like mom.

So I practice. Each day I sit in my room, learning to become quiet and still and solitary. By golly it happens: the unmasked world rolls in ecstasy at my feet, whooping and hollering. I do not lie. I feel as indulged and pampered as a first class tourist on a cruise ship. I have everything I need. The world has no choice. It will scintillate, dance, and shimmy in delirious exaltation of its creator.

Go ahead. Take a seat and wait for the show to begin.

Be still and know that I am God.
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.
I am exalted in the rooms of the old.
I am exalted in the cell of the prisoner.
I am exalted in the ruins of the city.
I am exalted in the penthouse and palace.
I am exalted in the peasant hut.
Everywhere and always
I am exalted in my kingdom
which you will find within you.
Be still
and know. Based on Ps 46:10

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Clueless

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  I Corinthians 2:2

He went out, not knowing where he was going,” says the writer of Hebrews.  Abraham,  the father of our faith, didn’t have a clue where he was headed, no map, five year plan, or GPS device. Just faith.

Most of us want a little more than simple obedience to the word of the Lord burning in our hearts. We want a backup plan, some insurance policy to guarantee that our wandering about in the dark and hard work will be justified. We do not want to look back in shame or sorrow at the choices we made.

Most of all, when someone asks what our plans are for this year, we want that calm sense of security that comes with being able to answer clearly: My goal for this year is to plant a garden, go to Greece, or graduate from the Neuroscience Institute. You need something with a nice ring, which wins a nod of approval, or even better envy. So we consult a bevy of advisors. How long do I have, Doc? Madame Sylvia looks in her crystal ball. We check our horoscope and give our broker a call.

In our sleepless nights we pray, “God… please… let me know things will be all right.”

Instead of a five year plan in the mail, we get the present moment.

This frayed and tattered now.

My old buddy, Oswald Chambers, writes in his January 2 entry in  “My Utmost for His Highest”:

One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, “What do you expect to do?” You do not know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what he is doing….. Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what he is going to do – He reveals to you who He is. … You must learn to “go out” through your own convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God.

Wanting to know the future, and to possess absolute clarity about where one is going is the last stronghold of the ego and a defense against intimacy with God, where the way is revealed only as I have surrendered my desire to know anything, except, as St. Paul puts it, “Christ and him crucified.”

We are nearest to God when we have gone out from our egos – our own knowing, our worries, and desires – and are vulnerably present to Holiness. As we become present to the Presence, we discover a relationship so wholesome, nourishing, and tender in its embrace that our notion of direction and purpose is transformed. My life’s direction is not something I grasp by knowing, but rather is given to me as I allow myself to be known in the mutual exchange of love that is  our relationship with Christ.

This seeking, palpable, grace filled Presence of Christ is what allows us to go out into the unknown, empty handed and clueless. Jesus told his followers: “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.”  Luke 9: 3

We learn to trust more in the ever present power of the One who sends us, than in our own preparations. And oh how much easier life becomes then!

How does one do this? Be aware. Allow space in your consciousness for God. Shovel away your lists and agendas, goals and objectives. Make a clear path through the snow drifts of your ego to the great I Am.

This is how I tried to do that today. All morning I prayed in the sunshine pouring through my window. I began with a list. A stream of words and worries that gradually slowed to a trickle.  Still in my pajamas and robe at 11:00, I am happy as a clam. Wrapped in love, I do not want to stop.

Often when I pray with others it is like this. Saying amen is a strain; lifting my head and opening my eyes, an effort. The magnetic pull of God captures me. To pull away is a sorrow, a sudden brutal severing from the heart’s true home. But the hour is up, the person who has come for prayer needs to go and is wondering if I am half crazy. So I return to “normal,” which seems ever more strange and artificial to me.

I know. I am weird. I also know many of you share this sense of God drawing you into Love.

I prayed for you this morning, for nothing in particular beyond peace, love, and joy. It is true I may not know you, yet I feel an oceanic rush of love and desire for your well being that hollows me out and leaves me breathless. I think it must be God’s love for you passing through my awareness. I hope it sweeps you off your feet today and tosses you hither and yon without a clue as to where you are going.

And on this cold day may you, beloved object of God’s devotion,

feel His warm breath upon your cheek.

Tell me about your prayer, the love song God is singing to you today.

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Day of Prayer

deer at dawn

I woke surrounded by warm pink light. Dawn filled the room like a rosy fog and drew me outside to look at the eastern sky. Banks of darker clouds, edged in gold, piled above the rose glow. Within minutes the sky darkened. Thunder rumbled. Rain fell gently throughout the morning and afternoon.

I spent the whole day chasing after that rosy suffusion which called me to awareness. But the light had flown to some other window, some other sleeper. I was left with a soft kiss, a sweet promise, and an ache in my heart that burned like a flame.  

This day my prayer was bare and to the point: I want you – not my way, my plans, my hopes, my dreams. Not peace on earth, healing for the suffering, hope for the broken hearted, or justice for the oppressed. I want YOU- giver of dawn and rain and this yearning in my heart for something unnamable, but ever compelling and true.

“The soul is not thought, nor is the will controlled by thought. It would be a great misfortune if it were. The soul’s profit then consists not in thinking much, but in loving much,” advised Teresa of Avila. I would rather think, connive, plan, strategize, manipulate, control – anything, but love this Author of our Being. But love is the way, says Teresa, as well as a whole company of others, including the Beatles.

Little renders us more vulnerable than love. A desire, a longing for someone, something beyond my grasp requires me to recognize my need and my limits. To love is to esteem the freedom of the Beloved and bear the pain of the essential separation of oneself from what is other than oneself. Love asks us to suffer the anguish of the reality that we may never fully possess what we love. Love asks us to be poor and naked in our need and our dependence upon the mercy of our Beloved.

No wonder we try to satisfy our longing for love by attachments to things which appear at first glance to deliver more and ask less of us than the uncompromising call of Christ. No wonder we attempt to extract from people, possessions, and work what only the Source of Love can give us. However, we soon find ourselves enslaved to and sucked dry by the insatiable demands of such false lovers.

Today I am sick, sin-sick, of my attachment to the world and my ego with its endless unappeasable needs.  I am weary and sore from the brutality and violence of a drive to succeed, ignoring my limits, and trying to do too much and be too much. Who can save me from myself, this body of death?

Only Love, Vulnerable Love entering into our misery as Christ Jesus, summoning us from our sleep, whispering, “Let go. Let go of it all. Follow me. I am all you will ever need.”  

So this day my prayer is a famished stumbling after Love. It is holding out my heart saying, “Here take it. I am yours.” It is Peter telling Jesus, with that desperate hope, “Lord, there is no one else that we can go to! Your words give eternal life. (John 6:68 CEV)  

Today my prayer is bearing the pain of this mystery, this rosy dawn which woos and embraces us all.  Amen.

 deer at dawn small

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God’s Been Missing You

 

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The wilted remains of pea salad, oriental chicken salad, jello, macaroni salad, and drooping concoctions of cool whip, cherries and graham crackers weigh down the table in the church basement. We finished our salad luncheon and were listening, as I was being introduced as the guest speaker. Invited to address church women of Sabetha, Kansas at their annual spring gathering, I prayed silently, “Jesus, what do you want me to tell the people?” I had planned my remarks, but I often prayed this question before a presentation. Usually I heard, “Tell the people that I love them.” On this spring afternoon in 1991 what came was, “Tell the people that I miss them.”

Over the past eighteen years the message has remained the same: God misses you. Your presence and attention to the Divine matters, makes a difference, counts. God grieves when you are absent from communion with the Holiness filling this world.

 “We live in an age of unbelief,” writes Ronald Rolheiser. “What sets this apart from past generations is that, today, this is often as true within religious circles as outside them. The problem of faith today is especially that of unbelief among believers.” In his book, The Shattered Lantern – Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God, Rolheiser writes about our struggle with faith and agnosticism. “We still have some experience of God, though rarely is this a vital one wherein we actually drink, first-hand, from living waters.” (pages 17-18)

What does it mean for you to drink, first-hand, from living waters of God? What shift needs to occur in us in order to turn aside and reach for a felt presence of God? For me it begins with the recognition that fundamental peace and clarity do not come from my achievements, intellect, or effort, but rather from conscious contact with the Living Reality which sustains all life. To turn toward a God who misses me begins with a conviction that God is more active,  effective, and powerful in my life and world than I am.

In 1926 Evelyn Underhill addressed a class of young seminarians preparing to go into the ministry in the Anglican Church with these words:

We, the laity, know instantly the difference between the churches which are served with love and devotion and those which are not. And we know from this, what their ministers are like. And what you are like is going to depend on your secret life of prayer; on the steady orientation of your souls to the reality of God.                   

I love Underhill’s phrase, the steady orientation of your souls to the reality of God.compass   Such orientation is radically different from the business as usual orientation of the world.

 Remember those compasses people used to put on the dashboards of their vehicles before we had GPS? As a child I loved to watch the dial bounce around in the fluid as the driver turned the wheel and we changed directions.

How do you determine when your direction is steadily aligned with magnetic pull of God? For many of us there is no felt pull toward the holy, toward the compelling mystery of life and love. At the same time many people have a sense that something is missing – a dryness, loneliness, a searching for something of more substance and depth than celebrity worship, political posturing, or being defined as a consumer of commodities.

What is magnetic north in your life? What has the strongest pull on your attention and direction? Where is that direction leading you? Toward greater satisfaction, peace, and generosity?  Or toward something else? 

When we acknowledge that there is a God who misses us and that we are missing God, we set aside our agendas, the chaos, and allure of the world and enter into a larger, more generous, and wiser Reality. We are cleansed, rinsed by the refreshing, renewing Living Water, which soothes and realigns us with our deepest truth and purposes. Here is our heart’s true home, the soul’s magnetic north.auto compass

This Friday The Sanctuary Foundation for Prayer will resume Midday Prayer gatherings from 12:15 – 1:00.  Held weekly at The Sanctuary office at 1600 SW Campbell and open to the community, these periods of contemplative prayer focus on communal silence. Join us in body or spirit and orient yourself to Ultimate Reality. God may be missing you way more than you know.

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Contemplation: Circling a Definition

Animal crackers

 

Captain Midnight ate a giraffe and an owl. I ate a camel and a lion. Crunch, crunch, crunch went Captain’s teeth on the owl. His dark nose worked back and forth and his whiskers twitched. We were eating animal crackers, a particularly satisfying meal for a rabbit. When you live your life running from fox and eagle, there is nothing quite so satisfying as sinking your teeth into a sweet crispy coyote.

There are turkeys in the trees.
There are turkeys in the trees.
Tell me if you please
why are there turkeys in the trees?

Captain was writing a poem, but he got stuck after this line. His problem was not rhyme. He had a whole list of possibilities: sneeze, sleeves, sweet peas. It was an ontological problem he was working on, as he chewed a rhinoceros. He was considering the nature of being. Why are there turkeys in the trees or fields or woods? Why are there turkeys anywhere? Why, for that matter, are there trees?

Captain finished off the rhino and sank into reverie. Turkeys, trees, he thought. Then something shifted. He, who was absorbed with his poem, began to be the subject of something else’s absorption. He felt lifted and held. He was no longer thinking, but was being thought by something larger than he.

 Captain Midnight was a rabbit with a contemplative nature. A lot of rabbits are like this. Maybe you have noticed. At dusk when rabbits feel safe and happy, you will see them on lawns and meadows at the edge of the woods, sitting in the grass still as stones. I like to think they are watching God rise from the cooling earth in a fine mist. Then while crickets throb and night descends, I think rabbits leave their bodies like empty locust husks on the lawns and become rapt by the God-mist gathering in soft folds in the valleys. The earth is blanketed with glad and tender rabbit spirit. And in kitchens, boardrooms, and on freeways, here and there, people lift their eyes, sigh and feel the hard bitterness of their hearts and the fear and worry ease a bit. Their shoulders soften. For a moment they are a little kinder and gentler. I believe rabbits do this to people.

The word contemplation comes from the Latin:  com (with) plus templum (temple, an open or consecrated space). It means to gaze attentively or think about intently. As a form of prayer, contemplation generally refers to an attitude of quiet open receptivity to God, a resting of mental activity and surrender into God’s gracious presence.

Originally contemplation meant to mark out an augural space, a place for divination. In ancient Rome the priest auger would mark off holy space by his staff and foretell events and interpret omens by considering the flights of birds, the location of lightening in the sky, and the arrangement of the entrails of animals. The priest’s interpretations guided affairs of state, including when the senate should meet, or a battle begin.

Russell StoverContemplation is the leisurely process of making sense of what is – the world as we know it – by circling around issues or ideas and considering them from varied vantage points. Contemplation implies spaciousness – a willingness not to succumb to anxious grasping after understanding. Contemplation requires some detachment, a divestment of the ownership of truth and letting go of one’s personal agendas and desires. A contemplative attitude suggests a poverty of spirit which is willing to say, “I do not know. Let us look at this together and see what we see.”       

When Captain Midnight is at his contemplative best, he spreads out with his stomach pressed into the earth, hind legs stretched out behind. And he vibrates. His body pulses in tiny rapid oscillations. He seems to tune into an extra high frequency energy source, receiving power, and converting it to rabbit voltage.

As a member of a prey species, Captain understands that contemplation and writing poems, or, for that matter, any creative endeavor, require courage in the face of death. Cramped narrow mindedness and fear close off contemplation. Contemplation flees in the face of anxiety which asserts that if I do not do something, say something, or control something – something really bad might happen to me or those I care about. You can’t get around it. Something I value has to die and it is often my notion of the way things ought to be. Many times a day smaller deaths to self are required in order to live with a contemplative spirit.

Feathers blowing in the breeze
Turkeys roosting in the trees.
A rabbit’s heart is free to seize
its Maker’s  joy on the wing
and behold the truth of any thing.

They began coming this summer. First one large turkey tentatively made its way out of the woods and across the clearing. It pecked at the corn under the bird feeder then lifted its head, swiveling on its long neck like a periscope.  Every few days he would be back. Then one day I lifted my head to count twenty turkeys ranging about the yard -four adults and sixteen chicks pecking, heads bobbing, clucking to each other softly. The cats, Captain Midnight, and I stared in astonishment.

So Captain knew why there were turkeys in the trees. He saw them fly when Chance, the golden retriever, happened to come around the side of the house and began barking at the critters who had taken over his territory. Amid flapping wings and a giddy barking dog, the gobbling ganders rose to balance precariously on the branches as the chicks scrambled into the woodsChance 1. Chance had never seen anything quite so wonderful, and neither had Captain.

 May something as marvelous set you to contemplating and writing poems. 

What practices help you contemplate? Tell me what astonishes and delights you and inspires your creativity.

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Paying Attention and Taking Your Time

leaves in sunA thousand shades of green hold me enthralled.  The south wind teases up the glossy leaves, revealing their pale undersides. I find enough of God in a maple leaf to keep me occupied with wonder for a couple of centuries.

 Today the praying life consists of a continuous loving look at the universe. Prayer is a long wonder-filled gaze upon things as they unfold. The praying life is a front row ticket to the greatest show on earth. Okay. Sometimes I nap, complain, go out for popcorn, or dally in the restroom combing my hair. Sometimes I get self absorbed and miss whole acts, and then have to nudge my neighbor and whisper, “What did he say? When did she die? I didn’t know there was a war!”

In its simplest sense prayer is as an act of paying attention. The word the writers of the Greek scriptures used for prayer is proseuche, which means to turn toward God with a request. In order to get my need met, I shift my attention to God. Our word attention comes from the Latin ad tenderer (from which we also get tendon and tension) which adds the notion of stretching toward something beyond us.

Simone Weil wrote that prayer “is the orientation of all the attention of which the soul is capable toward God.” In prayer I bestow upon God the gift of my eyes, my mind, my awareness, my being at this moment. So Holiness gets our attention by creating in us desire and need? Interesting, huh?

To understand prayer as looking at or paying attention to God, means one must deal with the fact that we are all blind as bats and struggle to see what is really going on. We have cataracts, myopia, far sightedness. We squint through the dim filters of our prejudices, opinions, fears, and fantasies.

Jesus seemed to recognize this and a good deal of his message was about opening the eyes of the blind and teaching his followers to see with the eyes of faith. Such prayerful seeing is not easy. The poet John Moffit offers some instructions:

To look at any thing, Forest floor Montana
If you would know that thing,
You must look at it long:
To look at this green and say,
“I have seen spring in these Woods,”
will not do – you must
Be the thing you see:
You must be the dark snakes of
Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,
You must enter in
To the small silences between
The leaves,
You must take your time
And touch the very peace
They issue from.

 Must I become what I want to know, or see, or heal, or change? We protest. Oh please, no. That is too hard. I have my needs, you know. I have my point of view. I have these closely held beliefs.  Let’s make an argument for why this situation or person needs to change. Can’t we use persuasion, branding, marketing, scientific research, polls, and the press of public opinion? Can’t we ask God to just fix these things, these people? Now!

Nope. The poet says you must take your time. You must look at the poor long, the imprisoned long, our enemies long, our failures long. We must be the thing we see, enter into the dark realities of life in a refugee camp, and the chaotic tension and anxiety of our nation. We must be willing to love and  to become the thing we long to liberate –

             as God was willing to do for us.

 In my experience it takes strength and faith to enter into another’s reality and not be overcome by it, or to lose myself in it. We may become bitter, cynical, even abused by such experiences. We may become infected with the disease we are trying to relieve. We end up offering the other only a mirror version of his or her own dilemma. We become part of the problem we are trying to soothe.

Forest floor MontanaSimone Weil continues, “Not only does the love of God have attention for its substance; the love of neighbor, which we know to be the same love, is made of this same substance. Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention. The capacity to give one’s attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. . . .  The soul empties itself of all its own contents in order to receive into itself the being it is looking at, just as he is, in all his truth. Only he who is capable of attention can do this.”

When our attentiveness invites us “to enter into the small silences” and to “take our time and touch the Peace” from which all life issues, we find ourselves in union with that Peace. Our sacrificial gift of attention to another awakens the life of God in the other. That life may be dormant, deeply hidden, frightened, or wounded. Our prayerful attention extends a hand and bids the slumbering Peace in the other to rise up and walk.

God is paying attention to us in Jesus Christ. How could Jesus enter so deeply into our reality and suffering without being overcome by it? As I watch Jesus move through the Gospels it seems to me that he never loses his attentiveness to the Peace from which he issues, his Father in Heaven, and his identity as the beloved child. Perhaps for us to be agents of transformation in our prayer and relationships, we must possess a deep attentiveness to where we come from, and a sense of ourselves as deeply loved by God. This ongoing communion with our Source -our Father, our Mother in Heaven- gives us the freedom, the strength, and the safety to be channels of divine love and healing without harming ourselves or others. For to me little is more fierce or tender than the unfolding of the ferny plume of a mortal soul.

So I pray as I watch the maple leaves dance in the wind.
I take my time.
I aim for the Peace we issue from.
I meet you there.

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Simone Weil, Waiting for God, Harper Colophon, 1951,p 105, 114-115
John Moffitt,  Teaching With Fire, edited by S. M. Intrator and M. Scribner

 

Gracious Uncertainty and Jumping on the Bed

communion trayI held out the tray of tiny plastic cups filled with juice, freshly poured, bubbles still floating on top. He delicately placed finger and thumb around his choice, and went to draw it out, but it was stuck and would not budge. He tightened his grip, pulled, and the thin plastic cup shattered in his fingers. Juice flew onto the suit jacket of the fellow next to him, the carpet before the altar, and my white robe and scapular with the appliquéd wheat and golden sun. How can such a tiny cup hold so much? we wondered.

Sprinkled liberally with the blood of the Lamb, I finished the service and told the mortified fellow all was well.

 I like it that things like this happen when people pray.

I am at the hermitage (where I prayed for close to twenty years). The cabin is tucked in a hillside on a small lake. Out on the screened porch I am listening to someone in need of God. I am praying she discover the presence of God whermitageith her here, and, in her contact with God, find healing for her soul. Inside the hermitage my two daughters, ages four and six, are playing quietly. My guest and I sit still, leaning into the grace of the moment-listening to meadowlarks and watching willows bend in the breeze. After a while my children’s play grows noisier. Thumping, giggles, and something crashing to the floor intrude on the serenity. They are jumping on the bed. The more I try to focus on the silence and my guest, the louder the girls get. Finally I rise from my prayer stool and go inside. “Please be quiet,” I whisper. As I take Diana’s arm to lead her over to some books, she shouts in a screechy, ear-splitting whine, “Mom, stop! You are hurting my arm.”

Well so much for serenity, and all our holy poses and postures.

If nothing else, God is Real and is asking us to get real. For me the freedom to be real is the fruit of prayer and a central message of the Christian faith.

Why do we reduce the Feast of God to a thimbleful of juice in a flimsy plastic cup anyway? Why do we embarrass grown men by asking them to wedge their fingers, fumbling for cups fit for elves?  We mortals do the strangest things in the name of worship.

I have few answers, but I love it that the Living God breaks out of our little cups and categories and paints my expensive liturgical vestments with purple speckles. It makes me want to go jump on the bed.  Here is a God who keeps me on the edge of my seat, breathless and shouting.

Certainty is the mark of the common sense life – gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. O. Chambers

d-c-playing-dominos

FYI, I got the stains out using a cleaning product called, Shout! It works great. Try it. And go jump on the bed.

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