As I’ve continued my prayer and meditation each day, greeting the vision of prayer I meet each day at the end of my customary prayers, I’ve continued to envision new images. Putting them into words borders on impossible, and even if I could, all meaning would be lost to the hearer. It would be trying to communicate raw experience through coded noises, nothing more.
I began to wonder about poetry. I’ve thought before how wisdom literature in the Bible and poetry in general are attempts to communicate between the wordless part of the author with the wordless part of the hearer, mysteriously using words as the medium. I’ve also thought before about how I don’t have a great relationship with poetry. I try to make my prose engage with the artist in me, but I’ve always been intimidated by poetry.
At last I found a task that would accept no other way, so I attempted to write about today’s meditation, and the writing itself was like praying.
Read More Everywhere Down
When I think about fear and shame and their connections with the compulsion to self-protection and harming ourselves and each other (perhaps a word to summarize that might be ‘sin’), in some ways it softens me. It helps me have compassion even on those who are harming others. In my best moments, it helps me have compassion even on those who are harming me.
At the same time, it reinforces the overwhelming sense of helplessness and hopelessness that anything in life can actually be healed or improved. I might be able to fix something in my own life, but can life for all people everywhere ever get better? It seems unlikely.
Read More What Hope?
Five months. That’s how long I have been practicing meditation and contemplative prayer. It has begun to transform me and the direction of my life. And, providentially, it has saved me as I struggle through balancing and trying to thrive as a student, as a social worker, as a father, as a husband, as a brother, as a son, as a member of my church community, as a thinker and writer, as an American, and as a follower of Jesus.
Read More With All Your Mind, Part 05: Prayer that Shapes Me