I may be shooting myself in the foot. But, I'm giving this a shot. (ha - no pun intended) Jesus said not to be like the hypocrites who pray on the street corners really loudly so people will see them and think they're devout. So what's the difference with me putting my prayers on the world-wide-web? I'm struggling to answer that.
But it's the season of Lent. Today is Ash Wednesday. The world I live in is snow-covered, cold, and on pause in many ways. The season of Lent always gets under my skin and makes me want to do something new…something different…something maybe a little more bold and daring than I might do otherwise (maybe). So here is my version of bold and daring (don't laugh). I may be shooting myself in the foot…or the mouth….or putting my foot in my mouth…or….well, you get the point. But I'm going to attempt, really hard, to write a new prayer every day of the 40 days of Lent. And then (deep inhale) I will share it on my blog. To guide this process, I am using a book by an amazing writer whom I just discovered about a month ago (thanks to a good pastor friend!;) ) called, "Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying with my Pen" by Rachel G. Hackenberg.
Why share my prayers? I suppose because I still feel new to this blogging world, and I'm trying to figure out if I like it. Also, because maybe there are others out there who have similar thoughts, prayers, and struggles as me. And if I can help you articulate your thoughts, prayers, and struggles - (or just make you feel better about yourself through my insecurities!!) - then perhaps that's all the reason I need. So, here we go…Day 1.
Ezekiel 37: 1-3
God, the blank page stares at me. Who knew a white page could be so intimidating? It seems to smirk and say to me, "Really? You think you can do this? Do you really think you can etch anything of meaning on me? Really?! Ha." It's as though this page - this ordinary, typical, not-so-special piece of paper - is my life. My inner critic, more specifically. Taunting me and making me feel inadequate. I'm giving in to the page - my life - my inner critic. I'm letting myself intimidate me.
God - everything you do screams LIFE. Living, breathing, abundant LIFE. So why is it so cold? Why does it so often feel as though our breath freezes and stops the minute we let go of it? Like we're stepping out into the snow-covered world, and our boots get stuck in the mounds of thick, white fluff. This stuck-ness is how life too often feels. We stop before we ever truly begin. We let it happen. We let it happen. We let our lives say to us, like the taunting of the blank page, "Really? You really think you're good for something? Really?! Just - stop." And that's all it takes for us to wiggle our foot out of the snow stuck boot, one after the other. Leaving them there, empty, in the cold. Our tracks barely made it out the door. We go back inside and return to our familiar pillows and blankets of comfort and warmth. Of security.
And still, you beckon us, God. Our scared, timid, self-interested selves that like to think we're so strong and have everything under control. You beckon to us and latch onto us in a way so snug that we cannot wiggle away. You say: "Move. Breathe. Look. Go. Live."
You say: "Create life out of nothing. Fill in the blank space with color and sound. Make these dry bones move."
O God, show me how to put my feet back in. Wake me up. And show me how to move. Amen.