I was asked to write and to lead the congregation in "Prayer for the Times" today at St. Paul's United Church. It is part of the weekly service. My dear friend Andrea organized the whole service and delivered the sermon. She did a beautiful job. I'm so proud of her..... she has been my angel this spring.
The feeling of standing up at the front of the church was humbling and empowering at the same time. I could hear my own voice and it felt strong. Strong. I think my voice is back. It has a different timbre to it.... perhaps its all that whiskey i've been consuming? Kidding!
It was a very special moment and I'm grateful to have been asked to play a role.
Here is my prayer.... the words and thoughts are a culmination of what I have been thinking and writing about recently. I'm posting it for my loving friend Rick. When I got home from church, there was a message that his Mom had passed away last night. Rick and Sheila? I love you both...... and wish I could be there to help you with ALL that you are feeling. And know we are just a finger tip touch away from one another. xx
Let us take a moment to be still together and take in a collective deep breath............
Hello dear God.
As we stand here before You with refreshed breath of Your Spirit, we give our heartfelt thanks for the gifts you provide every single day... those simple extraordinary offerings we sometimes miss in the flurry busyness of our lives. Today, we stand in stillness reflecting upon our own lessons knowing that, like renewal, growth is conceived in the heart of discontent, fed by the inner light of silent conversations with you God, until it breaks through the clay of our blended souls.
We share the same feelings, and many of us share the same happiness and heartbreak. This is what blends our souls in a spiritual sense of oneness. We all know the feeling of hungry hope. You have provided us with this gift, God. Hope, you have taught us, is a companion of a broken spirit. It is the oxygen in the breeze that caresses our restless sufferings with tenderness. Hope reminds renewal to be patient with its re-emerging and to know that most of our personal growth will be invisible to the outward glance, but colourfully recognizable when we gaze inwardly to speak to You.
Through suffering God, we are learning to surrender. Through surrendering, we are learning how connected we are to a greater Realm. And it is through our connection with you and with one another, we begin to feel loved in a much different way than perhaps we have ever felt before.
Forgive us dear God, for we are often slow to catch on because we tend to veer out into the wild and lose our way busy trying to deal with the events life throws at us. Please help us remember that what may feel overwhelming shifts our gaze and offers us a glimpse of a field of diamonds off in the distance..... those tantalizing sparkling gems with winking twinkling c'mons that have the power to awaken our hunger for enlightenment, and to tickle our parched thirsts for a drop of understanding.
Please remind us God that renewal doesn't occur because of one event. It may be the spark that ignites the change in direction, but it is not the conclusion. Rather, it is the impetus set in the clay of our blended souls..... the foundation we rely on for support as we ride the waves of change, one wave at a time.
Please remind us God that renewal in all of its diamond splendour is simply our crooked journey signmarked by our recognition of love dressed in complicated life riddles. Eventually it leads us to a place we can call home. We must walk unprotected, barefooted..... pierced by the nettles and thorns of suffering that scracth and sting....... that leave pockmarked scars on our flesh.
With your Guidance God, we will learn to walk aided and unaided........ to take risks while learning as much from our hurts as we do our triumphs, while reaching out to give while being open to receiving gifts we are offered. By so doing, we learn that the clay of blended souls we walk upon? We are a part of that clay. We belong to a universe who shares the same feelings, who thrive and survive, who suffer and feel joy, who nurture and are nurtured by one another.
Renewal may be conceived inside the heart of discontent, but the light of its darkness seems to shed Your rays on our gardens, inside our homes, waiting to be discovered. As pilgrims dear God, guide us when we are too surprised by the answers to those life riddles. Teach us that this is where awareness resides. This is where growth lives. This is where we come together to feel peace.
May we all walk in peace with you and with one another today. The first day of summer is almost here.