In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And the One who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 NIV adapted)
I don’t know how it is for you, but there are times when I have the need, the urge to pray, and really don’t have words. I don’t know how to say what I am feeling, and the thoughts have not coalesced, solidified enough that I can attach actual words to them.
These days, there is so much. I am carrying in my heart voices of people I talk with on the phone, pictures of folks in the church directory that I look at, while I ponder who to call next. There are the memories of things I have been told. I think about people I am used to seeing almost every day. I think about people I have not seen for years.
I wonder about our world, and what will happen this afternoon, next week, and on and on….
That’s how I am today. Full of… prayers, questions, worries, dark thoughts, hopeful glimmers, deep love, compassion. So much. Maybe you have times like this too.
Back when I was studying and teaching contemplative practices, and offering the ministry of spiritual direction (I did that for about a decade before I came to Harrow), I developed a way to pray, when I don’t have all, or any of the words.
It starts with my art box, and a blank page.
I write down names, places, concerns. I paint over them with a colour that feels like God’s love, God’s attention. I used watercolour today, but I’ve done coloured pencils, even crayons in the past. More words, names, places come to mind, so I add them. God’s love is not limited by the size of my heart, so I add more colour. It’s a bit of bright mess- and that’s about right, for today.
What a great coping tool to use, thank you for sharing the visual.
I hope people find it helpful. It was a good practice for me, for today.
Hello Darrow and Lexie I wanted to let you know that my wife Marianne died March 20 from advanced, inoperative pancreatic cancer. Our three kids Lynn, Lisa and Mark appreciated Marianne’s deep love for them and we all loved her greatly. Marianne also adored out 4 grandkids and they were always a very much loved part of our lives. With gratitude for your both sharing our lives Ron Mighton
Dear Ron; Lexie and I are both so very sorry to hear that Marianne has died. We both remember her fondly as a lovely person, with such a deep concern for others. We are also sad for you, and for your family. Peace, Darrow