A Confessional Prayer in Letter Form:
Summary: I don’t always have the words for prayer. Sometimes, I write a letter to The Sacred instead. This was one of those times, and God reminded me of two important truths: Often, we forget that we are loved, and always, God is with us.
Dear God –
I used to think of you as a part of the beyond. I even called you that: “The Great Beyond”. But in these recent days of distance and virus and elections and racism, I need you to be here and now. No more can I dwell in the great beyond – I long to experience you in that which is right in front of my face, in the truths that are emerging in nature, in relationships, and in the very core of my being.
Lead me to a renewed understanding of your love, God. Challenge the assumptions to which I have clung. Reveal something surprising as I journey into the unknown.
Here’s the thing, God: Today, I did all of the things. I took a deep breath. I poured myself a cup of tea. I lit a candle. I rubbed my Worry Stone (violently). I took a nap. I went for a walk. I read a book, did a puzzle, ate some healthy foods, called a friend, snuggled with my dog… I did ALL. THE. THINGS.
All the things that people keep telling me I need to do in order to survive this pandemic… or maybe even thrive in it. And then you whispered – “But you did them ALL” – and I heard you. For the record, I didn’t want to hear you. I wanted you to just go away, Whispering God, but you did it again. Confession: I had choice words for You, God, in that moment.
But now, a few moments later, I realize that your words were important to me. I needed to hear them. My kid is still crying. I’m still in a funk. I am still doing more than I probably should. And yet… And yet… I no longer hear your whisper as a reprimand. I now feel it as a blanket in which to wrap myself. I feel your gentleness and your compassionate truth-telling.
God, you don’t need me to do all the things, do you? You don’t need me to do all of the ways of caring for one’s self in pandemic (or even in regular times) – you just need me to acknowledge you, to be in relationship with you, to stop trying to go at these things called “life” and “faith” and “church” alone.
I hear you, God. And, if I’m being honest, I taste, smell, feel, and see you as well… and suddenly, I am not at war with that inner voice of mine who shouts “You’ve got to rest!” but I am at peace with the unknown future, the unsteady ground under my feet, and your solid call to me, “Love one another. Serve those in need. Remember that YOU are loved.”
Thanks, God. Seriously. Thanks, Sacred Here and Sacred Now. Thanks for the whisper. Irritating as it was, I needed that. Amen.