Image Description: A person looks upward with hands in prayer while standing in a field. The light is on the horizon like a sunrise, and there is a band of clouds in the sky.
This week, I’m preparing to preach from Jonah 2. In this place in the story, Jonah prays in the belly of the big fish. This week on Smuggling Grace, I’ll post pieces about prayer. Some pieces have been shared previously, and others will be new. Here’s a poem I wrote in November, 2017.
Suddenly, I heard my own prayer.
As I was making my final rounds before sleep —
turning off lights, putting dishes in the sink —
I suddenly heard myself,
my deeper self,
reverberate words from a prayer nine years ago.
There it was,
from a moment I had actually forgotten:
The words rose up and found themselves inside me
like a thought I didn’t think.
It was a mantra I prayed during a Taize service
in a time of transition —
for which I was not ready, yet
for which I was being prepared.
Two phrases of prayer, uplifted over and over,
anxiety lending itself toward trust,
wondering if change can change us
even if we would like to change its pathway.
Times like this can shape becoming,
our own shaping,
our own becoming.
Times like this can shape our meaning-making,
as we carry mantles we do not know to choose,
yet for which we are lovingly chosen.
Despite what we hope for,
Despite what we wish for,
even our Deepest Despite
can lend its way toward a world of meaning and becoming.
So I suppose if a prayer can return again,
we can return
to this truth,
to this wondering,
to this becoming.