"There are beautiful and wild forces within us." *
I was brought up as a luke-warm, "had to go to church" Christian. Prayer for me was not much more then words and "Jesus" was a question mark. Saying prayers too often happened without feeling or meaning. After all where did they go -- these words thrown into a fog. Their destination was too invisible, too not there and too not here. Then adulthood came along and turned one inside-out and upside-down in all the human stuff: growing, marrying, parenting, divorcing, and aging. In other words, enjoying and suffering this experiential loop called living.
What I didn't know as a child or as a young adult is that something deeper inside me was being nourished, cultivated, in spite of my inattention -- a heart beat, a hum was emerging which I eventually recognize as Presence, mine and Other. I discovered the feeling of beloveding is the feeling of these "beautiful and wild forces" of which St Frances spoke. This deeper sense of awareness was like gradually falling in love with an aliveness that was intimate, personal, impersonal, faceless and powerful. And it really does live in my cells and in my chest.
What divine intelligence is at work? Everyone I know has ten fingers, a nose and a chin. Imagine. How did that happen? And the exact number! This is the beautiful and wild force within -- a power and relationship available in each of us. It's language, we call prayer.
Praying comes in as many forms as minutes do in a day. Sometimes it's words, sometimes it's the space between the words. In the last writing prayer came in the form of a table grace. This morning, being busy, I will try to bring my non-feeling "in from the cold". This will necessitate getting up from the computer, moving over to the rocker and saying, I am here** on the in-breath and wait on the out-breath for my mind to touch my heart. Surprisingly, after breathing a few times, my busyness begins to thaw. I start feeling connected. Later, I may be lured out on the deck as those infinite number of frosty, ice-crystals also wait on the rail to ignite my amazement which is a swift road to gratitude, the root and route of prayer.
These beautiful and wild forces speak the language of the heart that unites us all. I need this understanding, compassion and healing. I take my vitamins daily to keep my body healthy. Maybe praying is like taking my spiritual vitamins daily to keep my Being healthy.
Image source: fotolia.com
* Saint Frances
** Thich Nhat Hanh