Wednesday Prayers: Literature

I've said countless times: no pastoral care handbook or class has prepared me for ministry like being a Lit major has.

This week I'm giving thanks for writers and storytellers (including some of you). I'm thanking God for poets, novelists, and all those who tell the truth through scenes that aren't factual.

What encourages you? What keeps you moving forward? May I join you in giving thanks for it?


Wednesday Prayers: Magic

In fairy tales, sometimes there's a character with a lot of unharnessed power-- and they wreak havoc.  The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a good example--the young apprentice isn't trained, casts a spell he's not ready for, and before you know it-- battalions of brooms, and water everywhere.  The problem wasn't that his power was bad, but that he didn't know how to use it properly.  I think spiritual gifts might be like that, too.

I spend  lot of my energy holding my own reigns tightly.  Tonight, a conversation with a friend that made me starting thinking that it might be wiser to seek training.  The solution isn't to reject the magic, it's to learn to use it responsibly.  

Lord, your gifts are powerful.  Teach us how to use them wisely, and with joy.  Help us to delight in our strengths, instead of hiding from them.  

Do you have gifts that you reject?  Ones that you're afraid of?  May I pray for you-- and for them?


A Proclamation, with the help of REM

Therefore, let's not assume that our pain is more important than other people's, and entitles us to act like dirtbags.

Long day, y'all.


Wednesday Prayers: Girlfriends* at All Stages

This week's prayers are about girlfriends.  Y'all can't get me to shut up about girlfriends, even though I've already written about them a thousand times and tend to be boneheaded and take them for granted in actual 3-D life.  You also can't keep me from using too many superlatives when I talk about them.

I'm thinking about girlfriends because:

  • I'm holding a couple of long-distance girlfriends in extra-super-strength close-hug love-soaked prayer.  You go ahead and do it, too-- God knows the details.
  • I've gotten to spend time with two (2!) mentor-y girlfriends in the last month.  I walk away from seeing them knowing that someone has loved me right down to my heart.  Blows my mind every single time.  Being able to love them back is such a privilege.  Watching them walk through life stages entirely different from my own is an extraordinary glimpse of God's work.
  • I've been missing a couple of marvelous women that I used to be closer to.  Praying about where to go from here.
For a long time, I just stumbled into gorgeous girlfriend-ships, and I figured the same thing happened to everybody.  I'm starting to appreciate that's about the same as assuming you strike gold every time you swing an ax at a mountain.  (When will I learn that the good things in my life aren't the universal baseline for normal?!) There can be competition and jealousy and all manner of crazy drama among people, and women's friendships sometimes get portrayed as primarily consisting of those nastinesses.  Thank God there's a whole other reality, one that is deeply holy to me.  

I cannot imagine that I would be OK without all of the women who have loved me, and whom I've had the joy of knowing and loving.  I sure as heck wouldn't have had as much fun.

For all the excellent women we've had the pleasure of sharing hearts and lives with:
Thanks be to God.
For all their heartbreaks:
Lord, have mercy.

*Yeah, Stratoz-- you, too.