Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Fear and Prayer

“Our struggle is--isn't it?--to achieve and retain faith on a lower level. To believe that there is a Listener at all. For as the situation grows more and more desperate, the grisly fears intrude. Are we only talking to ourselves in an empty universe? The silence is often so emphatic. And we have prayed so much already” 

In the struggle to repossess my relationship to God, I found myself without words before Him. Emptied of all that "worked" previously, I had nothing to say.

My doors had all closed to me. The ways I used to find Him are now just wardrobes filled with coats and paintings of seas and ships.  I was desperate, but could not figure out the way back to Narnia. 

With a mighty effort, I began to consider trying other doors. 

This considering went on for a while. 

For Christmas, Bill  bought me  A Year of Biblical Womanhood (which I had on the ol' wishlist, but was putting off buying and reading because I'm cheap, lazy and scared. Mostly scared.) . This is a marvelous book, and a peculiar thing stuck with me. It was her talking about a local church that had a woman on the teaching staff years ago and the problems/persecution they encountered because of this. 
It is wrong that a woman should be persecuted for speaking about Christ. I felt that very strongly, and I was all "Hey! I feel this very strongly! Hooray! Hey! I can do something about this! I can visit that church to show my support!" 

 One tiny little step, but lord, I was scared. Like edge of a cliff scared. Like what the heck will happen next scared. Swallowing my fears, excuses and judgments for about a month,  I finally visited. Taking that step has freed me to take a few others. There was no great revelation, no epiphany, just a quiet satisfaction that I was MOVING towards Him, even though this path is unknown to me and frightening.

If the old doors cease to work, there are always other doors. But one actually has to go up to them and knock or try the handle or push or pull or SOMETHING to get inside. 

One of the doors I am knocking on is prayer. Communication being key in virtually every relationship, and since I have no words of my own (still), and since my ears apparently aren't working anymore,  I decided that there is value in repeating the prayers of others.  This is humbling and gets me right down to the bottom of it. The simple basics. Saying prayers aloud. Repeating the same prayers. But not for any reason other than I must knock and keep on knocking. 

And each day, and with each prayer, 
I am reminded how closed I am, and how I can be open.
And how Big He is and how frail we are. 
And how scared I am.

But I believe He is worth all the bravery I can muster. 

“I hope I do not offend God by making my Communions in the frame of mind I have been describing. The command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.” 

1 comment: said...

Sometimes the only way you can turn is to God. Sometimes you have no choice but to pray.