Monday, March 29, 2010

Prayer #107: Hair Shirt

He started out in a procession, ended up on a tree, and defied the tomb. Surely I can refrain from eating chocolate just a few days more ...

Prayer #107: Hair Shirt

I should have just gone for the hair shirt.

I keep making a big show of my sacrifices, moaning and groaning every time I do manage to stick to them. I hold my hand to my brow, and in my best diva voice, I exclaim that I've never known suffering until this year, never known true want or pain.

A hair shirt would have been more honest. Not only would it have eliminated my boasts, but it would have left me itchy all the time -- itchy on the outside, rather than the inside.

For how can I in comfortable faith listen to Your Passion and claim to have one of my own? It diminishes Your gift. It overlooks Your human fear. It trivializes Your divine resolve.

I've never once followed through on a promise like You delivered on Yours. Not even that time I vowed to get a hair shirt.

Thank you for being nothing like me, Lord. Otherwise, we'd have several thousand years of whining ... and a very itchy eternity.

Amen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Prayer #106: Tunnel Vision


Prayer #106: Tunnel Vision

The last drop of blue water, sluggish and clingy, drips from the pipe overhead onto my dusty boot.

All around me is black, save for the gray curtain shimmering at the distant perspective point I'd pick if I were back in drawing class.

My footsteps chatter and echo. They supplant my voice, too caked to croak a syllable.

Soon, though, I can't hear even my own footfalls, because the curtain is roaring. The closer I get, the louder it pounds, pushing the black behind me.

My toe slips, splashes. The perspective point is now immediate. I reach to push the curtain aside -- and instead go through it.

I grab my arm back, aghast. My sleeve patterns the dirt beneath me with droplets.

Water, falling. No curtain there at all, except that of my perception. I flood with recognition.

Dry earth can still absorb a gift. So I raise my cupped hands to You, and drink.

Amen.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Prayer #105: Left My Heart



In San Fran this week with Fella! This fabulous city will always hold a special place in my heart as the first city I ever explored alone. Here, I learned the pleasure of waking up without an itinerary, picking a spot on a map, and taking the whole day to get there by way of Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, Alcatraz ... but not, oddly enough, by trolley. And sans Rice-a-Roni. But still a fantastic time.

So when I arrive today, I'm taking back what I left behind.

Prayer #105: Left My Heart

My heart is ready to hit the road. In fact, it's already out in the car, windows down, leaning out the passenger side into the spring breeze.

My heart needs affirmation this week, and permission. It asks for rest from constant wringing. It wants a jolt of the best variety, the kind that pops up with a see-for-miles view or a diner-on-the-roadside meal or a happenstance you know will become an inside joke for years.

Grant me this respite, Lord. Draw my heart's internal tempest, still wild from winter, out into a calmer, warmer season. Help me make sense of the constant swirls, and then give me the words to speak them into new being.

Amen.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Prayer #104: Forgotten

I crawled out of bed as soon as I'd burrowed in because I remembered I forgot I'd remembered to post a prayer today. So here you go -- a short one to cap a long day.

Prayer #104: Forgotten

You're tickling my rib cage, begging my attention. I'm only half listening, though, focused instead on my lack of focus.

Filmy mirages flit across my dreams more these days. I grasp at the mist and grab nothing every time. But I can't shake the feeling that soon I'll thrust my hand into the shimmer and come away with a fistful of tangible ... tangible ...

Tangible what exactly? Answers? Suggestions? Hints? A clearly marked map would work just fine. Feel free to mark X at the spot. Any spot. And then tell me what the spot entails.

But no. That would be too easy. Instead, You knock at my ribs in Morse code, nowhere near an X -- just a stream of incomprehensible taps for which I have no decoder chart.

This much I know: You're asking me to forget the rest of the world and stick by You to find what's hiding in the mist. Forgive me if I'm not so eager to fall in line. I find it hard to forget what I don't know yet.

Amen.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Prayer #103: Sacriligifice

Photo by maskedcard

Despite my belief that no merciful God would ask you to give up chocolate, this year I gave up chocolate for Lent.

Two weeks have passed with nary a nibble. However, I've noticed a concurrent, proportional rise of vanilla and oatmeal raisin products in my stomach cabinet.

Hmm. Convenient. But fair?

Prayer #103: Sacreligifice

May the letter of the law not write bonds so tight I can't breathe in its spirit.

And may the spirit of the law not leave me so light I can't attach to the letter.

Strike this balance in my will, so that I sacrifice weakness, and not meaning.

Amen.