The prayer I wish I could pray.

Holy God,  I’m tired of winter.  Not winter snow and ice, that hateful draft under my back door, but the winter in my head and in my heart.  Where are you?  Aren’t you supposed to be pillars of fire and light?  Those would be warm, and comforting, if frightening. Scary and present is better than scary and absent.  I keep hearing that you’re around, and that you’ve always been around, but right now I’m not remembering those times and I’m not seeing your face.  Couldn’t you show up, just for a little while, like that barn cat we had when I was a little girl?  You remember, the one who’d show up when the weather got too bad and the food too unpredictable.  People keep saying that I’m just not looking, or that you like to stay quiet.  I’m tired of hearing that I’m supposed to be learning from this.  And I’m tired of pretending like it’s a growing experience.  If I utter or hear the word “transition” one more time, there will be screaming.  I’ll be frank, right now quiet in my head would be nice, what with my monkey mind jumping from idea-branch to branch.  But it’s a loud God I want.  Snap your fingers in my face or something.  Sky-writing would be fine, too.  Here’s what you could say, “It’s going to be fine.  You haven’t screwed this up beyond fixing. It ain’t over til it’s over.  I still love you.  Turn around.”  It could be shorter, if you like.  Maybe just, “I still love you” would be enough.  Or, “Here’s a blanket, go take a nap, I’ve got this covered.”  But you should say it out loud, because if I’m supposed to be hearing it, I’ve got to tell you it’s not working.  I hate those people who say Jesus walks with them, but it’s really because I wish I understood what that’s like.  God, take my envy.  Take it, make it into something else.  Hold my shoulders tight and squeeze out all of the sad-gunk, like you would a dish rag.  But let me feel it.  And now it’s prayed, and I hope it’s good enough.  Because it’s what I’ve got today.  I’ll be watching the sky, waiting for the finger-snap, bull-horn, personal note.  I’ll be watching and waiting.  And I’m hoping you are, too.




  1. Julienne Said:

    I pray God that you show yourself to Julia in a tangible way. A way that she would not doubt it is you. Please hold her hand tight enough that she will not stray or fall down. She is a soul worth consoling. I’ve learned that the more I force your presence, the more I strain. Julia, let him come to you, don’t seek him out. He’s funny like that, not meaning to hide behind the one tree you overlooked. Be patient. It is a virtue, one you must contend with and accept. Be strong or weak, whichever suits your soul. God will find you in that moment and he will heal you, cleanse you, love you.

  2. Jules Said:

    Jul, thank you for this. I needed someone to pray for me today. You made me cry!… I was reading Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies last week, and there’s a passage in it where she’s talking to a priest about her problems. He tells her to stop praying to let him pray for her instead. What you said reminds me of that. I think I’m trying too hard.
    Love you.

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