Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jar of Prayers

“Communion with God, what was broken in the garden, is totally restored when I want the God- communion more than I want the world-consumption.”
Ann Voskamp
I read of prayer. I’m thinking, pondering when the glass jar catches my eye.
A jar of marbles sits on my window sill.
I loved playing marbles as a child. My brother and I would dig a hole in the dirt. Then we would back away a few feet, maybe less.   We would draw a line and attempt to get our marbles in the hole. There was a way we could win each other's marbles but I don’t recall what it was.  Winning a marble was worth a celebration.  Each marble was a precious treasure because we had so few.
 I look at my jar of marbles each day in passing, but I’ve never taken a single marble out of the glass enclosure and felt it’s smoothness in my hand or examined  the colors and textures.
“Your prayers of late are like that jar of marbles, child.”
 I knew. 
They were lumped together, rote, familiar, encased in the hardness of presumption and demand.  I hadn’t seen until brokenness, jar lying shattered, no answers splintering encasement.
“Choose one marble, and really look at it.”
Choose one prayer, the one closest to my heart.
I choose, quietly, humbly asking.
 Then asking for grace if it were not to be.
 My word for the year becomes a bit clearer.
I am weighted down by the world’s distractions. They are clothed differently than I thought.  I’d not seen. I see only in part now.
 God-hunger lies buried beneath a myriad of disappointment, struggles, demands, desires, theology gone awry.
The need for simplicity and solitude is raw and fresh.
Pure joy, pure hope, pure love.
I get up from my chair and retrieve the jar of marbles. I dump them into my robed lap, choosing one at a time. There is a milky one, a butterscotch and white, and a chipped clearie with a slash of yellow. I lift the black one toward the window, and as I do, I realize that it is deep amber, yet transparent in places enough to allow the light to shine through.
Small round orbs, clear and opaque, cold to my touch. One at a time I drop them back into the jar. I save my favorites for last, a mid-size milky glass one and an ocean blue small one, release from my fingers. I replace the Mason jar lid.
A jar full of prayers.
I dump them out in my lap. I disencumber.
Tenderly I place my two favorites in first, the ones closest to my heart. They sit alone in the jar.  There is no lid.
Angels’ wings stir.
My prayer has been heard.
I empty my jar of marbles once again, this time into a bowl.  Choosing my two favorites, I gently drop them into the jar and place it back on the window’s ledge.
A reminder to finger each blessing, each prayer with gratitude, to see with eyes open, to ask with heart.
To move into communion with God.
To be restored.

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