I’ve been praying since I could talk. I was never taught; never guided. I was simply told to have a conversation; to speak my requests. I’ve prayed for a new cabbage patch doll at Christmas time, acceptance into college, and for a miraculous A on a test I didn’t study for. I’ve prayed for jobs, for pregnancy and childbirth, for healthy children, for healing, and for safe travels.
I zoomed in, and in, and in, until I could closely see the cuts and curves of a blade of wild grass. Everything behind it blurred and blended into the background. Chiggers gnawed at my ankles as I circled around the shot, trying to capture the desired hue of orange and magenta bursting through the empty spaces in the frame.
Have you ever used the expression “if these walls could talk”? Sometimes I think that the walls in a pastor’s office could tell the kinds of stories that make for great movies and best selling novels. They could tell beautiful stories of redemption and courage, where good people in bad situations overcome difficult odds. These are the kinds of stories where the Spirit’s presence is undeniable and God’s purposes revealed in new and significant ways. Still, there are thicker and darker moments that hold confessions of grief, envy and doubt. In those moments, people let go of secrets and dissonant emotions in wavering whispers.
I found an old table, constructed from repurposed wood. It is a collection of old porch posts, and boards ripped off of the side of a dilapidated barn. The wood was battered and bruised. The boards were slapped on top of the posts, and the hodgepodge of firewood became something that roughly resembled a table.