prayer as…

i tend to pray when things get stormy. 

my prayers often surprise me.

they’re often addressed to Jesus, 

often they are more ask-y than i would ever explicitly admit.

they are child-like. selfish. they want to be saved.


i was feeling so desperate this weekend, like someone in withdrawal,

needing a fix or a hug.

i sobbed a lot. big deep longing cries, that came from who-knows-where.

i went for a walk “to calm my nervous system” on the trail beside the shooting range.

sometimes it is good when the outside matches my inside.

and there, i held a tree. pressed my face to the scaley white pine bark,

and prayed with my whole body.

without words, i prayed to feel better. to know what to do. to let this go.

i prayed for the next right step. for relief. for calm.

i was asking to be held, as i held her.

my niece told me she got a talking tree, instead of a therapist.

her wisdom has deep roots.

my prayer didn’t fix anything.

i didn’t feel that much better, though lighter, maybe, for a moment.

i still sobbed more, though my body wasn’t wracked.

i was left with a dull ache, the same longing –

quieter but ever-present.

lately, i keep thinking about a ‘god-shaped-hole’

about physical solutions for spiritual problems

about the things we’re all trying to fix, the things i’m longing for,

the places i am desperate to fill.

prayer isn’t the filling – i don’t think.

i think prayer is reaching in another direction.

away from myself, away from him, and it, and them.

the hand out of the cookie jar, a glance at the sky,

the space between shallow breaths.

today, the storm has passed, and that in itself feels like a prayer,

rather than an answer.

and, for the next 40 days, i want to wonder about prayer…

i want to wander from my head to my body.

i want to practice praying, not the way i was taught to –

eyes closed, head bowed.

i want to pray wide open.

to pray myself open.

“prayer as…”

this is my exploring.


One thought on “prayer as…

  1. This is just so deeply moving, speaking to my heart and my bones. Thank you for this timely gift of your fantastic poetry ❤


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