Meditation of the Heart (Yaconelli) Day 7

On the seventh day God rested from all the work that had been done (Genesis 2:2).

I’m considering the word “rest” today from the perspective of the ancient Christian tradition that says to pray is to rest. Yaconelli details rest as requiring a release from our work, plans, worries and activity. He writes “when we rest in prayer, we become open and receptive to God’s presence.”

I recall in my first semester of seminary, we were learning about the discipline of prayer.  Our leader told us that prayer is not always about asking for something; “it’s really wasting time with God”.  It’s about hanging out with God with no particular goal or agenda, but simply spending time in God’s presence.

A spiritual director once likened prayer time to my desire to just spend time with my kids.  We don’t have to be doing anything unique, just being together in the same room is good for me. She said, “don’t you think God would like to hang out in the same room with you?” (Duh-ope!)

Like some of my friends, I haven’t been good at a regular time of prayer but, ofSedona sitting up all things, my cat has helped me out in this regard.

While on my laptop (furiously writing seminary papers), my cat, Sedona, will often climb up onto my lap and cover my wrists Sedona on my lapwith her ample self.  I’ve tried to continue typing, but I can neither see over her girth nor lift her with my wrist to get my fingers on the right keys. So, I’ve taken to asking her “Oh, is it time for prayer?” We sit while I stroke her soft fur, enjoying that pleasure and extending the pleasure to being aware of God’s presence, attained not through thinking but through loving, as Yaconelli says.

Amazing grace opens its arms and lets us fall into its love.
Bidden, yearned for, woo’d and pursued
it beckons us all to come home.
(Fa Lane)

Meditations of the Heart (Thurman) Section 4 Day 3

Thanksgiving – a time to identify what we’re grateful for. Another opportunity to remember past events and relationships as well as current relationships that have meant something dear to us.

One year, as a family, we did a memory line.  The idea is that you take a long piece of thin rope, or you could use ribbon or twine, etc.  As you tell your life’s story you tie a knot at significant events.  Each year you add on to your memory line as a way of recording for yourself and those for whom your telling your story.

Thurman focuses on the warmth of humankind that he had known: his mother’s arms, his father’s strength, friends to play with, etc. As he remembered the laughter, or twinkle in someone’s eye it was a reminder to him that life is good.

He calls them a sacrament of Thanksgiving – a visible sign of an inward grace.  Often I neglect or forget that the people in my life, the acts of kindness or bravery shown by others, are visible signs of inward grace.

I think we can do this act of remembering any time of the year.  It would be a different kind of journaling.  journal with a string across itWe could bring friends together for a meal every quarter even and recant our lifeline of visible signs of an inward grace.