prayerful imagination

angel

Sometimes, when words won’t do,
My imagination opens the way for prayer.
And so I pray for my friend,
That You will comfort her with your Spirit,
That You will cloak her in your grace
And bring healing.

 

 

Here is the prayer of my imagination:

I see my friend lying in her bed, with labored breathing and discomfort in her soul.  And then I see them: around the bed, a circle of angels is holding hands with one another.  They stand so close that their wings touch each other and form a wall, a curtain around the bed.

One angel begins to sing, softly. Her tones are just barely audible.  The tune, a soothing melody of hope and love, begins to flow from one angel to the other across the circle and around it until it is almost as if they have woven a canopy of song above her bed.  They continue their singing and the canopy grows more substantial, revealing intricate patterns of color and light, of texture and depth.

At a signal from one of the angels, they all soften and lower their voices and the canopy itself is lowered until it covers my friend like a blanket.  The touch of it seems to ease her breathing and soften some of the lines upon her face. She sighs in momentary respite from her pain.

They continue their melody and the blanket enfolds her more closely and then begins to melt into her very frame.  Its melody makes its way into her flesh, into her weary body and brings hope and peace. They sing until all of the blanket has dissolved in this way; all of its healing strength is now within her.

Then a single angel smiles at the others in thanks and they leave. All but that one angel. She takes her position at the head of the bed, watching my friend, holding her steady. She will remain.

Amen

[photo by Bernard Healy per cc 2.0]

Fingerprints of faith

fingerprint against the sky
Faith has the ability
to hold on to hope in a world like this.
Faith resides in the whole self
and grows in community.
Faith is often shaped more by story than by fact:
story moves.
Faith gives new eyes, new ears, a new heart,
to see the culture of love emerging.

I need this kind of faith.

[photo by Josean Prado per cc 2.0]

God’s culture

seek first the kingdom - photo of woman looking upKingdom is a foreign term,
The metaphor of a different time.
It is so far removed from what I understand
That it no longer serves me well.

When I think of kingdom,
I think of coercion,
Abject subservience,
Ironclad hierarchy
Absolute, immutable rule.

What if there were a different kind of kingdom –
Hidden in plain sight, growing up among us,
Tiny, at first, like a mustard seed?
What if it were a land of healing and hope,
Where little children, and prostitutes, eagerly lead the way?

It would be an upside down land,
Where the last come first
And every lost thing is found.
Camels and riches would make it hard to enter in,
For what is truly yours is what you give away.

It would be like living in a foreign land.
I’d need to learn its culture,
Change my currency.
I’d need a whole new language.
But, somehow, I know I would be home.

Do you think I could find asylum, there?

[photo by Don McCullough per cc 2.0]

the difference

eyes are watching youThere is a profound difference between being watched and being seen.
One sets you apart as an object to be observed, perhaps even judged.
The other celebrates you as you are, inviting true relationship,

So, please stop watching me.
Instead, let us really see one another.
If we do that, love will follow.

[photo by wplynn per cc 2.0]

what if

a friend's embraceWhat if, perhaps,
My arms, today,
Were meant to bring
God’s dear embrace
to you?

What if my smile
Was meant to show you
Just how much
Your life
Has blessed my own?

What if our lives
Could quietly reflect
God’s very being,
In this moment,
In this place?

What if?

[photo by Archigeek per cc 2.0]

what love bears

photo of a young infantEven when love works hard –
And it does work hard –
It often does so with a smile
Rather than with gritted teeth.

I am reminded that the phrase
‘Love bears all things’
Can mean that love gives birth to all things.
When life comes, it comes through love.

[photo by novinha2007 per cc 2.0]
[This draws upon the work of Cynthia Bourgeault as quoted by Richard Rohr.]

abba

Abba
Daddy
I am at home within those arms,
Safe within that heart.
The Daddy who adopted me
Has shown me love,
Even when I was not aware
Even when I did not understand the sacrifice,
Even when I could not return it well.
My Daddy embodies love,
Drawing from the greater love,
That echoes in his embrace
And I am grateful.

[image edited from photo by Melissa Gutierrez per cc 2.0]