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quiet for boston {a pause}

15 Apr

Sometimes the best thing we can say is nothing.

Boston

I have no words for a day like today, even words I’ve already written. So I offer you this: a pause. Quiet. A prayer.

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen. -Collect for Peace, The Book of Common Prayer

I’m in the midst of a seven-day series on encountering Jesus on the U.S.-Mexico border. But sometimes we just need to be quiet. I’ll be back tomorrow to continue.

a weekend prayer

7 Apr

20130407-170043.jpg

This is the day that so many call “Low Sunday.” People are worn out after the extravaganza of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
I get the feeling.

It’s still Easter, yes. But the alleluias are quieter, subtler. And that’s okay.

->

glory, anyway

2 Jan

The sky is blazing with stars the day before Christmas Eve.

 

I am working my second job, pizza delivery. Between the two jobs, I’ve worked fifty-five, sixty hours the past couple weeks. I’ve stopped counting.

“What does Jesus want for Christmas?” I ask the kids at our midweek program. The answers vary: an Xbox, a Bible, world peace. We decide at the end that Jesus wants the hungry to have food, for everyone to have enough. And Jesus wants time with us, I tell them.

We have lit our Advent wreath sporadically, Josh and I. Some days, we read the passage, pray something from the Book of Common Prayer that looks beautiful and not too long. I bought a devotional on December 15th and read two, three entries a day to make up for lost time. I have not sat and prayed by the light of the tree. I have not listened to The Messiah while I baked or wrapped.

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waiting {day 29}

29 Oct

The only good I’ve ever done in the dark night hours is keep vigil.

In college and grad school, I tried to study and write at night, but the night is not for study. It is for rest, or it is for waiting.

When I checked myself into the hospital, I slept fitfully. I woke when the door swung open for safety checks, and the room flooded with light. While I tried to remind myself where I was and why I was there, I prayed little snippets of psalms. Out of the depths, I cry to you, O Lord. Everything grows more serious at night. I waited until sleep finally came. I waited until the morning finally came, when I could see things clearer.

This healing sometimes feel selfish, until I realize that it is not mine alone. God tells Abraham that he is blessed in order to bless, and I can’t help make a leap of logic: that we are healed in order to heal.

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ask {day 21}

21 Oct

Warning: It’s about to get all religious up in here.

“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who seeks finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7

I hate it. The verse that goes ask-seek-knock.

I sang it in children’s songs. Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. Allelu-alleluia. It is crisp and clean. Ask-seek-knock. It is satisfying to say, the decisive “k” at the end.

But I hate it because it is not true. I have asked, I have sought, I have knocked. I asked, and it was not given to me. I sought, and I did not find. I knocked, and the door slammed shut in my face.

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telling the story: look beside you {day 8}

8 Oct

{This post, like others to follow, relates to mental illness and suicide. If these things are a trigger for you, please read with care.}

It is quiet on that Friday.

The room is blank, empty. A monk’s cell. There are no windows (jumping), no mirror (cutting). There is no metal. The shower curtain is held up by Velcro tabs.

There is no wood. Everything is made of hard plastic—the bed, the desk, the chair.  The only thing on the wall is a cheap painting of a parrot, its body all contorted, its big yellow eye looking at me.

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God of the desert {day 16-17: carlsbad, new mexico}

17 Sep

They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. -Psalm 1:3

There are no streams of water here.

There is barely rain, about ten inches a year. When the wind whips, there are no leaves to catch it. When the sun blazes, there are no trees to shade you. The plants have learned to dig their roots down deep.

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when i would rather not pray

23 May

For New Year’s this year, I made two resolutions.

One: Pray Morning and Evening Prayer every day. Two: Don’t do anything that I don’t want (except praying Morning and Evening Prayer every day).

Mind you, I would rather do nearly anything than pray. Here is a brief list:

  1. Read a novel.
  2. Copiously document the growth of my lettuce plant via Instagram.
  3. Rehearse the minutiae of my day to Josh in excruciating detail.
  4. Spend 10 minutes thinking of a witty Facebook status.
  5. Watch Parks and Rec.
  6. Watch 30 Rock.
  7. Watch Downton Abbey.
  8. Make an inventory of all the food in our pantry, fridge, and freezer.
  9. Run. (Now I’m getting desperate.)
  10. Read a book about prayer.
  11. Write–an email, a blog post, a to-do list, anything.
  12. Talk to my friends about how I don’t want to pray.

You get the idea.

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