Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Am Crappy At Prayer

The walk begins with a thought, a lament, a hard realization. I am crappy at prayer.

Not bad at Scriptural Analysis. Slightly better than average at Organizational Dynamics. Halfway decent at Giving Wise Advice. Passable at Preaching In A Way That Doesn't Make You Overly Sleepy.

But as I walk, I own my weakness. Though I can string together words just fine, and speak them clearly and with feeling, in my heart of hearts I'm still a lousy prayer. Spoken prayer too often feels like chicken scratches on the dirt floor of God's creation.

I'd rather call someone who needs a call. Remembering this, I do, and I talk with some dear souls who've been away from the church for a while, putting one foot before another and sharing some time with them.

Walking back, lunch in hand, under a canopy of rain lush trees, damp leaf speckled asphalt beneath my feet, one of those moments of presence comes without my asking. Is it the Requiem that whispers through my earbuds, as the wind seems to rise and fall with the chorus? Or is it the tiny green wriggler descending from an invisible thread as I approach? Is it my involuntary reaching out, feeling the tug of his line on the hairs of the back of my hand?

Is it that we move past one another as if we were dancing? Is it that after turning to watch him serenely fall, the breeze rises up? Is it the moment after, as I close my eyes, and feel the air around me, and a tangle of threads catches across my closed eyes and clings like a tickle on my upraised face?

One never knows. But the endless jabbering in my head stills to nothing, and I am crystal in the sun. It becomes hard to distinguish between myself and the wind on my face. I am both lost and very deeply present. There's an inexplicable certainty, a heart knowledge, that I am moved by something far greater than myself.

The moment passes, as they do. I'm still a lousy prayer.

It helps to own your weakness.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely! As an artist, I learned at a tender age that I tend to think in pictures not words. Language is a second language for me. How much harder it is for me to translate the experience of God into words - out loud, no less! It's kinda like going to the movies, becoming totally engrossed in the film and then having to excuse myself to go out to the lobby to explain the experience to someone else...

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