On Wednesday evenings during Lent our congregation extends an invitation to gather at the cross, to pray and light candles. Solemn, quiet moments. Moments when I not only hear my own heartbeat, but the yearning heartbeats of all those around me.
Each of us brings our own cares and concerns. Each of us brings hopes for safety and peace and life and love. We light a candle and lift the distress we feel.
And then we go home. Some of us may feel lighter. Some of us may experience clarity. Some of us may continue to feel the burdens we brought with us, but are at least grateful for the silence and beauty of those moments.
Feeling the warmth of the gathering, some of us feel even more grateful for the warmth of the homes to which we return.
A writer friend recently wrote these words in a new poem, “Doing Something,” about the war in Ukraine:
I lit a candle I scrubbed the kitchen floor I scoured the bathtub I carried out the garbage I wiped out the refrigerator. Not because I loved the doing. I still have my home. I can do the ordinary. Linda Schaeffer "I can do the ordinary." As I age, I am learning not only to appreciate the ability to do the ordinary stuff of life, but I am learning to do those tasks, those day-to-day routines, with prayerful intention. As I carry bags of groceries from the car to the house, I can carry prayers for all those who wonder where they will get their next meal. As I place clean clothes in my dresser drawers, I can pray that all those who have left all their belongings behind will be offered what they most need. As I retrieve the daily mail, I can send into the world prayers for protection and well-being. I know "ordinary" isn't enough, but I also know that extraordinary responses and efforts and solutions and changes are built on the ordinary. My prayerful ordinary moments along with your prayerful ordinary moments create room for the extraordinary to grow and thrive and make a difference. I believe that with all my heart. Wednesday evening I will return to the cross. Once again I will lift the yearnings of my heart and light a candle, but in the meantime, I will move through my ordinary days, praying for the extraordinary.
What are your prayers as you move through the ordinary moments of your days? I would love to know.
You may find this link interesting–the poet Matthew Guite reflects on what C.S. Lewis has to say about living in the midst of war. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngGozM0ZMG8