All summer I have been entranced by Ann Voskamp's incredible blog, A Holy Experience. Her spiritual meditations and insights combined with her lyrical prose and stunning photography make it my favorite blog to read. Not just read but sink into ... ponder ... contemplate ... pray over.
On Wednesdays Ann hosts a "Walk with Him Wednesdays" in which we share a spiritual discipline that helps us draw closer to God. For me, it is all about position.
On my knees.
This morning when I climbed the stairs to brush my teeth, I took the time that I haven't lately (I know, shame on me) to stop at my prayer corner. I don't have a prayer bench like Ann has in her home (although I would love a prie-dieu like the one pictured here), but I do have a small prayer corner in my bedroom - basically, it's my bedtable on which I have my Bibles, prayer books, cross, and candles, and on the wall are several icons and pictures. My Anglican prayer beads hang on my bedpost. The bedtable is near the window, and from my knees I see blue skies, scudding clouds, and the gray-green branches of Cuyamaca cypresses.
On my knees is where I need to be.
This morning I felt called to my little corner despite the closed shades and knelt there, deeply breathing in His Presence, His Whispered Call. Despite the crackling pain from rheumatoid arthritis, I lowered myself, knowing that this time centered on Him is worth the fire in my knees.
I knelt, and immediately felt His peace enfolding me, embracing me -- simply because I answered His Whispered Plea for Communion.
Breathing deeply, I basked in His Love. His Peace. His Grace. He filled me "up to the brim, and even above the brim," to quote Frost.
After a few moments of silence (even the beloved beings belowstairs were quieter than usual), I opened my Diary of Private Prayer to "The Thirtieth Day: Morning" and prayed the words there:
Creator Spirit, who broodest everlastingly over the lands and waters of earth, enduing them with forms and colours which no human skill can copy, give me to-day, I beseech Thee, the mind and heart to rejoice in Thy creation.Gently I closed the book and returned it to the top of the prayer book stack, a reminder to pray this evening before bed. I have been using other prayer books lately, and wonderful though they are, they still cannot entirely replace this slim volume of prayers written sixty years ago, the first prayer book I ever purchased and a frequent gift to friends near and far. I breathed deeply of the morning air spilling through the window above our bed, sensing for the first time the ever-welcome tang of autumn. I closed my eyes, listening to His Whispered UnLanguage, breathing in His Presence, breathing out myself, my stress, my busy-ness that I allowed to keep me from this little corner, from this sacred space where He has been waiting for me all along.
Forbid that I should walk through Thy beautiful world with unseeing eyes:
Forbid that the lure of the market-place should ever entirely steal my heart away from the love of the open acres and the green trees:
Forbid that under the low roof of workshop or office or study [or school room] I should ever forget Thy great overarching sky:
Forbid that when all Thy creatures are greeting the morning with songs and shouts of joy, I alone should wear a dull and sullen face:
Let the energy and vigour which in Thy wisdom Thou hast infused into every living thing stir to-day within my being, that I may not be among Thy creatures as a sluggard and a drone:
And above all give me grace to use these beauties of earth without me and this eager stirring of life within me as a means whereby my soul may rise from creature to Creator, and from nature to nature's God.
O Thou whose divine tenderness doth ever outsoar the narrow loves and charities of earth, grant me to-day a kind and gentle heart towards all things that live. Let me not ruthlessly hurt any creature of Thine. Let me take thought also for the welfare of little children, and of those who are sick, and of the poor; remembering that what I do unto the least of these His brethren I do unto Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. (125)
Touching bent fingers to forehead, heart, and shoulders in the timeless sign of Christ's cross, I took one last, deep breath of His Grace and rose to my feet, ready now for the busy day ahead.