On the first day of new, I wrote a prayer and called it “Winter”, knowing that what I write, I might retain.
I found it beautiful then. It was descriptive and true.
Pausing to look it over, gray lines and loops on thin white paper, I pondered the seven days since I’d already begun to fear.
May your arrival bring new things.
May I be unafraid of your truth
and of mine.
May I hold fast to a promise uttered for others and for me,
a breakthrough is coming, it’s about to be time.
This morning I sat in a dim space. The morning faded by moist and thick fog led me to linger. I read and wrote, three or four lines at most. The quiet of the morning, too much of a calm nothingness for me to move.
I listened and heard a dove in the distance. Its coo was quiet, then more clear, then quiet again. The notes of its song danced like black squiggly shapes on sheets of music.
I listened and thought of grace.
Grace, manifested, making itself evident, the only other sound the tick of the clock on kitchen wall.
The cooing of the bird becoming conversation, for me, I decide.
I waited. It continued.
It quietens, so I move, unfolding the quilt from my bare feet.
I think of seeking the sound, the sight of grace.
For months, I walked almost daily with lens pointed towards the sky. Random shots of clouds that called me to notice. The sky, like dove song, I’m certain was always for me.
Grace, manifested. Grace, rediscovered.
Had never moved, not been removed nor withdrawn, I’d just stopped looking. Maybe I’d become comfortable in the apathy of apprehensive unknown.
Sometimes we do these little things like “quiet time” and journaling and they’re nothing short of cliched habit, practicing a trendy social sharing, searching for a word to declare will carry us through the day…like wearing our badges of honor to mark our fading faith.
Then, we see grace.
We feel it. We hear it because it was not of our making, we got silent and still enough to see God.
I’m looking again. I’m noticing again. It’s a quiet and private practice.
Earlier today, I was captivated by a presentation. Watch and listen:
A video created by a photographer, the intent to capture the emotion of 2016. It’s hard to watch. Hard not to watch. The voice of the narrator is reminiscent of the sweetest teacher a Southern girl may have ever known. It’s a voice that is somber in its serious tone, broken in its cadence.
If voices were visible emotion, her’s would be the drawn face of sorrowful acceptance.
It was hard to watch, such an accurate commentary of our time, our distress.
Hard to watch, yet, impossible not to take notice.
I watched and still, I thought of grace.
I thought of Job and his refusal to give up on God, his dismay, his defeat and his holding out and holding on to see grace again when they all told him it was not to be found.
No more grace for you, curse what you’ve decided to count on for good and accept that your doubts have come true. His wife, his friends, the bodies of his children cried out. Job 2:9
I thought of the sky that I turned to notice once the fog had cleared.
The open spot where the blue came in.
That’s the place that reminded me of my Winter prayer
and eventually, again, of grace.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. Psalm 86:6
Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee to Tell His Story.