I’m just speechless. I have no words, today. I’m very much uninspired. Words won’t string themselves together in any coherent way. Maybe it is because I ran out of extroversion. I’ve used up my words. I’ve prepared classes, taught classes, looked at words, listened to words and spoke them this week. My die-hard introverted self may need a word break. No inspiration comes in prayer or in the meditations that I have read this morning. I wouldn’t have to write anything, would I? No, I wouldn’t, but as my preacher husband says, “Sometimes I preach because I have something to say and sometimes I preach because I have to say something.” That may not be an original quote, but I could say the same for writing.
I could write about prayer. Why does she always do that, you ask? Well, for one, prayer is my job. But also, what is more important than staying in touch with God all the time? All the time! C.S. Lewis said, “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.” True. Very true. Therefore, I talk and write about prayer. And I pray.
So, I take my walking stick, to keep myself upright on bumpy sidewalks, my camera just in case I find leftover fall color, and go walking. There is a tree up the street that I have wanted to photograph, but I am always driving by it and not really looking at it. It is chilly this morning so I’m glad I wore my jacket. There are such beautiful colors outside today. Leaves on trees and leaves on the ground. Purple, yellow, orange, green and tan. Blue sky. Berries. I think of quotes and prayers I’ve read. Other’s words. Not mine, but….as I walk I see God.
“You were here all the time, and I never knew it! This is nothing less than the house of God; this is the very gate of heaven.” ~ Genesis 28:16-17. Yes! “When I hunger, it is your life which fills me. When I thirst, it is your love that quenches my need. When I walk, it is your mercy which sustains me. So I thank you Lord, for mercy, love, and life, given to me with joy abounding.”—anon. Joy! It feels good to be out here walking around and looking at God. “When I am up to my eyeballs in words, your silence restores me,” I whisper.
This prayer was a closing meditation in the class on “Listening to God.” I’ll use it, again, here. “Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, ‘Prove that you are a good person.’ Another voice says, ‘You’d better be ashamed of yourself.’ There also is a voice that says, ‘Nobody really cares about you,’ and one that says, ‘Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful.’ But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, ‘You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you.’ That’s the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen. That’s what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us ‘my Beloved.’” ~ Henri Nouwen. I need that.