My feelings have been hurt lately, but that’s to be expected – I think I’ve hurt other people’s feelings as well. I’m in the midst of a somewhat rough transition, and as much as I have tried to T.H.I.N.K.* before I speak, people inevitably feel hurt when things are changing, myself included.
I have tried to be true to the Divine’s calling in speaking up about issues that some people would rather I were quiet about. When no one speaks up, meetings go more quickly and quietly, other people feel less public anxiety, and in the Southern United States, where the heat of too many sweaty, cranky people is always rubbing together, a nice social lie saying that everything is fine can be preferred to honest disagreement. There seems to be no better lubricant than a polite smile and a closed mouth.
So, of course, I chose the honest disagreement. It is no surprise, then, that I find myself in the hot seat. Yet, even here I am gratified that my honesty has given space for others to be honest, even those who feel hurt when I do not play along and have told me so.
Today I received a call from someone with concerns similar to my own. This is a person I know, but not well. We’ve never had dinner together or shared ice cream – two ways to easily become my BFF. He asked that his concerns be kept confidential; he didn’t want to sit in the hot seat with me, but he did want to pray for me.
I was surprised how wonderful his offer of prayer felt.
I, of course, have been praying throughout this challenging time and feel sure that God is calling me to this path of opening up what has long been unsaid. I thought that my prayers were enough, that my conversation with the Divine was plenty to feed me when things felt rough.
But knowing that someone else had been praying for me lately raised my spirits so much that the hurts melted away. I don’t think either of us are necessarily changing the situation with our prayers, as much as we are using them to lift one another up. And I, for one, feel truly lifted, ready to continue and aware that others are watching, so I’d better stick to my commitment to T.H.I.N.K. as much as I can to keep my “honesty” from becoming a weapon.
Like many people around the world yesterday, I watched helplessly from thousands of miles away as Notre Dame burned, and then found out that the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem also had a fire. All I could do was pray, which seemed so very little. In the face of churches burning in Louisiana, we have added hate crimes and racism to the sad loss of precious sacred spaces. All I can do is pray. As tragedies international and personal happen all around me, all I can do is pray – but with this new friend praying for me, I have more insight into just how meaningful that can be. There is certainly power in prayer, but there is even more power, I have found, in knowing that someone else is praying too.
What are you praying about these days? How has prayer been a support to you in your life’s transitions? How would you describe the power of prayer? What place does community or relationship have in that power?
Openings: Let the Spirit In is a place where you can go when you need someone to pray with you and for you. For more information, check us out here.
* T.H.I.N.K. – Is It True
Is it Helpful
Is it Inspirational
Is it Necessary
Is it Kind