Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Warming the Pew

It really surprises me how much the daily battle with the physical distracts me from the spiritual. I wouldn't have guessed that would happen to me. It's not that the spiritual component of my life is missing, how could it be? I know I am always in God's presence that God's Spirit lives in me. It was a little over 32 years ago when I came to terms with Jesus, discovered the truth of his nature and identity, the Son of God who left heaven to live in human form, experience it fully, and give up his life as the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sins of mankind; he bridged the gap, made a way for human souls to spend eternity in heaven. As if that weren't enough, Jesus made provision for human life lived in this world; to live it abundantly as we open ourselves to become more and more like Jesus in our nature, most important of all to love as he loved.

After all these years, these truths are innate in me. So it surprises me when morning after morning turns into afternoon and I remember I didn't pray. It is nice knowing others are praying for me though. So many people leave messages in my CaringBridge guestbook that they are praying for me. Others email me and tell me of times and places that caused them to think of me and say a prayer. Today I realize that right now my faith is being upheld by others' faith. It's not the first time this has happened.

When my sister J0-Ann died in 1992 of lung cancer, I was in a daily battle with the spiritual. I was numb, going to church on cue yet really only occupying the pew. I was there in body, not in spirit. A friend approached me on one of those mornings, "How are you doing, Donna?"

"To be honest, not that great. I feel like I'm just warming the pew these days," I said.

"Well, if that's all you can do, then just do that!" he said.

I've never forgotten how freeing those words sounded to me that morning. It was okay to feel what I was feeling, experience what I was experiencing, and wait for better days. They came eventually. And better days are ahead of me now too. I'll continue to "warm the pew" and be present with God even though I personally don't have much to say to God right now. I continue to fall asleep at night with the image of my daughter holding baby Anna and see God as nurturing mother holding me close, comforting me, taking care of me in this time of great vulnerability and need. I'm a lot like Anna--I'm pretty much a helpless babe in God's maternal embrace.

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