“It doesn’t have to be the blue iris, it could be weeds in a vacant lot, or a few small stones; just pay attention, then patch a few words together and don’t try to make them elaborate, this isn’t a contest but a doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak.” -Praying by Mary Oliver
I stare out a window at bare winter worn branches, but earlier in the week, the day I woke up early like I’m supposed to; I looked out to a sunrise all soft and pink and lovely. My mind shifts to the prayer. I don’t remember what I said or if I said much of anything at all. It was just first thing in the morning with that first cup of coffee and this is the ritual we have become accustomed to.
A habit begun out of the necessity of help to even start the day. To breathe in deep and exhale, Dear God. Some days there were no other words and I rested in Romans 8:26- In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Sometimes I was, I still am, like a toddler who cries and doesn’t understand that a nap or a little lunch would make me feel better. I pray for cookies and more activities until I’m exhausted and malnourished. We get weak and tired praying for the wrong things with our hearts in the wrong place. We need to get quiet again so we can hear Him, obviously not audibly but perceptually.
When we see the blue iris, the lone daffodil, the pile of rocks, when it catches our attention it is an invitation to communicate with God. To say thank you for color. To ask to be put back together again one small stone at a time. To be reminded if I wake up earlier God brings the sunrise, the soft pink behind the winter worn bare trees.
Dear God, teach us to pray.