Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I do not have much of a personal prayer life.  I know that I should, but I don't.

I've had a rough couple of weeks.  Integrating into a new community is hard for me.  (This is one of the reasons I write things down now:  I had forgotten until just recently how long it took to hit my stride at Olaf.  I do not want to forget again.)

Yesterday morning it occurred to me that, yes, yoga in the morning and better meals for dinner would be good, and would lower my anxiety, but - what about prayer?

So I'm tossing in a prayer in the morning between toast and coffee.  These prayers are nothing elegant.  They consist mostly of "I'm screwed.  Please help."

And ... oooh dear.

I forgot the reasons I don't like to pray.  First:  because it opens a channel for Jesus to speak into my barrenness, into my absolute crap of a self.  The crap me does not like Jesus interfering.  He's into accepting everyone and pursuing justice and it's just not fun or easy.  I do not particularly care to hear over my cup of coffee that I need to pay more attention to the problems of those around me than to my own -- even though I know this is true and good.

But second - I am bothered by prayer because it does change me.  I've felt extraordinarily better the past two days.  I've felt peaceful.

And this bothers me.  A lot.

Why should I receive anything?  Are Adam and Sarah comforted as they pray in the midst of the loss of their twin boys?  Are the children in Haiti filled with an inexplicable peace even as the cholera racks their bodies and families and communities?  Are my friends and compatriots at Luther any more soothed, any better able to sleep or to wake?  If not for any of these, then why for me?

I do not like this.

Yet it is the only way I can survive.

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