Monday, January 4, 2010
Instructional Poem: How to Pray
I have been praying a lot lately. These past few days I have struggled more with abdominal pain and even nausea. My therapist said to me that my pancreas is like a flickering light. I have days where I am symptomless, then I go weeks where the symptoms are there. These past 4 days the light has been flickering more ... on a couple days I feel like the light even went out as I prayed, hunched over, in the early mornings with pain. After my partner and I left church yesterday morning and had a discussion on religion and faith and God and being or not being Catholic ... she reminded me of the most beautiful poem she wrote a couple years ago .... I feel moved to share her poem with you this morning:
How to Pray
Ask yourself if you believe, in fact,
that some benevolent force exists in this universe.
If so, you are best to give it a name,
Howard, Energy, Dog, or even
Believe it is ok to show up before this energy,
this God you have turned away from in anger or shame,
for so long.
Accept your renewed request for comfort, connection
even though it somehow feels wrong to ask now, mostly because of a desperate longing and Cancer.
Accept that you are deserving of this relationship anyway,
and have been all along.
Howard is smiling.
Dog is wagging its tail and
God has been holding the door open for you since before you were born.
Call out, even in a whisper, to this God in moments of worry at 3 a.m. He’s awake too. Tell the story of your day, your longing, your worries about next year, and work and cancer and friendships and failure. He’s heard it all and it won’t be too much or ridiculous or too often, or too anything, really.
Trust that you can have a relationship with this God, without chasing, without shame, without apology.
Say hello at Noon when you notice the prayer stone on your desk, a reminder that now is a good time for gratitude and lunch and prayers of thanks for comfort and sustenance, to
- Mary T (2008)