wordless prayer

Words: there are too many and too few.

These days I write letters of explanation for the loan officer, thank you notes to my friends, emails about software, lists of items to pack. I journal numbers: home repair costs, monthly budget estimates, closing fees. I print and sign and scan endless papers.

Is it that there are no words for me, or too many?

If I had the time and energy I would write about honoring martyrs, embodied worship, gardens, shame, scarcity and abundance, and a dozen other subjects.

Instead I pack suitcases, scrub walls, and sign papers. And, at the end of the day, I hold the prayer beads, touch the cross, and fall asleep too tired for a prayer of words.


to a friend fearing recovery

Darkness surrounds. The sunset fades. Ahead your path disappears into the dark. You walk a few paces and stumble on a rock. A few more paces and the path turns upward, a mountain looming in the darkness. Thorns tear your skin. Rain pours down. You feel misery and pain you’ve never known.

You look behind. A strip of sunset purple, a glimmer of light is there. The path stretches downhill. The storm seems lighter.

Oh the relief of turning back! The hope of it. The light is back there, drawing you, calling you.

Yet that light is elusive. Run, if you will. Run into the sunset. The sun will still outrun. You will forever chase that last glimmer of light, until you fall to the ground exhausted and deep blackness overtakes you, crushes you.

But as you stand at the base of this mountain, look ahead once more. The sun will rise before you, not behind. Turn your back on the dying light. Rush into the darkness. Press up the mountain. Let your tears flow with the rain. At the end of the night you will stand on the peak and see the glorious sunrise scatter the darkness.

You will find true light.