Living Reality

16 05 2011

Praying outside changes everything for me.  For one thing I’m usually walking, and that makes it hard to fall asleep.  Not that prayer is boring, but when I’m sitting in the dark with my eyes closed, my heart rate slows, and I begin to relax… until I suddenly jerk myself awake with a snort.  Those around me snicker, and I want to crawl under the brand new olefin-upholstered chairs.  Instead I go outside the walls.

Outside the air contains no polymer vapors.  Even walking alongside exhaust fumes from the heavy traffic, I feel the freshness scrubbing my insides clean of closed up dankness.  My soul prays faster.  (Is it possible to have a prayer speed?)  “Scrub out the insides of my heart; replace it with the fresh wind of your Spirit for Your breath gives me life; carry me along into the fast lane of your will and get me off my comfortable behind; send your Spirit to wash over me like the rocks in this brook carrying away my bad attitude and frustrations that act like the quicksand that almost sucked me; and let me run – run and jump and dance and twirl like the leaves blowing ahead of me as I sing your praises that reach past the clouds holding back the sun into Your holy presence,” my heart gasped for breath.  Because there was more.  Much more that came tumbling out like lilacs so heavy with fragrance, the alabaster vase tipped over and broke, spilling their scent freely and profusely everywhere.

I stopped suddenly, captivated, during a break in the traffic while the leaves fluttered to earth in a slow motion lull as I prayed, taking in the cemetery across the street.  In the momentary stillness I heard a chorus praying with me.  Not audible voices, and not all saying the same words, but praise rising.  Not from the rocks (I was praising Him, so they had to be silent), but from the gravestones.

Many of those whose bodies are buried in the secluded glens across the road are singing in the presence of the Most High God, not needing to catch their breath as I now caught mine.  Through the quick temporal crack, I worshiped with them, inspired by their deafening inaudible song and encouraged by their present reality.

Praying outside changes me.

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