Prayer in Quiet Places

This morning it is Sunday. Growing up I knew it as the day everyone got dressed up and drove to a place where we attended church. In early days it was more about listening to long sermons and learning the traditional Protestant hymns. In college it was about searching and testing what had been taught. In my adult years it became more about worship and entering a place of spiritual renewal in fellowship and service. More recently, as is true today, I am content to be alone in my communion with a God who has been near all along.  No television or radio blaring the latest world news that only serves to depress us all, and no need to fry up a country breakfast when a cup of coffee will do for me….alone.  There are four dogs and a horse who have been my agreeable companions for more than a day now, and I find the scripture “O taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the [woman] who trusts in Him” (Psalm 34:8) gently repeating itself in my mind. (Forgive me, if I need ask for it, for changing “man” to “woman” in this passage, but I am one who thinks translators should have considered the equal importance of the female gender in Biblical translations and references. I forgive the Old Testament patriarchs….Jesus hadn’t yet arrived on the scene to correct the propensity of males to dominate and exclude women from recognition as spiritual beings too.)  Today I am content and at peace, alone.

It wasn’t in my plan for the day to uncover and remember songs written over a decade ago, but I picked up my guitar to dust it off this morning, and the case just opened itself (with some help from my arthritic hands).  After a few minutes of trying to organize papers that fell out, I found myself opening the back door, moving a lawn chair to the shade, and letting the 4 dogs and a horse coming to the fence-line become my audience as I tried to reproduce tunes written from 10-30 years ago.  And I wondered how my life would be different if I’d stuck with the songwriting and singing.  (Interesting that my daughter has written a few good songs, and my oldest son continues to pursue his passion for the craft.) But whatever the outcome, I was reminded that our spirits cannot be quenched, though sometimes our voices are silenced for a season.  I found in my time alone today that songs born from stirrings of the Spirit live on, even when forgotten in dusty guitar cases and notebooks falling apart.

To my mother, I also found your favorites: “Magic Misty Morning” (written on a small balcony shaded by towering trees before sunrise when I was trying to be a college student), and “Universal Tapestry” (a vision for a world where gender and skin color and culture were no longer barriers to fellowship in community).  When we visit next, I’ll try to have them a little less rusty sounding.  You were always my greatest encourager, next to Grandmother, when it came to expressing myself through writing or song.

I hope, if only for today, you too will find that quiet place for being alone, reminded of your worth, letting restoration take place from within.

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