A very personal prayer

William 2

I would like to wash Your dusty feet, O Lord, but I cannot find them down here. So instead, not knowing what else to do, I will find a dusty child to hold. Watch my heart in that hug, and know I am also hugging You.

I wish to offer You respite for Your weary bones, O Lord, but I do not know how. So I will put my arms around my own son, and hold him for an extra moment as often as I can. Let Yourself enter into his weariness so You can feel my holding too.

As evening turns to darkness, and birdsong comes to rest, through the approaching cold of a winter night, I would build a little fire to keep You warm, O Lord. But since I cannot offer warmth to Your invisible being, I will rent an apartment and buy the furniture for one family, so they can find shelter from a cold-hearted world. When I invite them across the threshold, may You slip inside with them and join them in the heart-warming. Maybe then I can give You what You need in a cold and sometimes heartless world.

When I reach out to the people I can see, may Your invisible Self experience my reaching too. For I don’t know how else to get through to You, with my gratitude and open heart, except for sharing it with these I can see.

Isn’t this how the transformation comes Lord, when we stumble into the shocking discovery of full, frontal union with You? Isn’t it through direct contact with the flesh around us until we finally get it that – within that flesh is You?

When we speak the words that rock our worlds, that disturb ourselves with Truth, and harass our neighbors even more, aren’t those Your words in our mouths? There it is, that unfathomable intimacy again, Your words IN OUR MOUTHS!

When our hearts are broken open by the suffering around us, and we are compelled to act in their favor, isn’t it Your heart breaking within us, and You compelling our action?

Isn’t this whole adventure a true incarnation: You walking around in our skin, our many-colored skin, and You living within the many cultures of our flesh, and You tasting the delicious wonder of human experience in us and through us?

And if it is You continually breathing the Breath of Life into us, every single one of us, isn’t it the greatest evil when we harm ourselves, or any brother or sister, with words or actions? And isn’t it the highest good when we hold ourselves and every single brother and sister in the highest regard, treating our own being like we really matter, and bringing that same heartfulness to all the diverse beings we meet?

When we welcome another person into the shelter of this spiritual community, aren’t we welcoming You, in the only real way we can know? Jesus said when we do it with the least of these, our brothers and sisters, so how else can we get to You?

Please, Lord, open our eyes, ears, hearts, and lives so fully to Your presence in each other, that whenever we talk to each other on this earthy rock a-spinnin’ through space, we will be using Your words in our mouths. And when we call all the weary ones, and invite the next person to come warm their lonely spiritual journey around our fire, may that be Your invitation landing on their ears and hearts. And when we embrace each other with a kind of full-body-and-no-holding-back embrace, Lord, in that embrace may we know You! Amen.

For more writing like this see Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic Culture.

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About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through Amazon.com; and of a blog on Wordpress.com, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (www.thescl.net), adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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3 Responses to A very personal prayer

  1. Ann Meece says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Stephanie Smith Hammontree says:

    What an eloquent statement of true transformation! You have a God-inspired gift! Loving you in Christ!

  3. soulcare4u says:

    Thanks you all. Don’t we all listen for the Voice as best we can.

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