Thinking about prayer today. For lots of reasons. I don't tend to do intercessory prayer because I frankly don't believe in it, but then at moments, I find myself going back to God just, could this please happen?
Almost immediately after, though, I sigh and think about the Desiderata: and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. So let it unfold.
And yet, I don't believe in the trite bullshit of "everything happens for a reason." Because some shit, there just can't be a good enough reason. So then I'm torn again.
I find myself puzzling over miracles and thinking that I don't really believe in them either. Perhaps we view them as miracles, but really? I'm just not convinced of a capricious God who pulls that kind of thing on us. To keep us on our toes? To keep us hoping? Plus I believe that God created a natural order and natural law and if miracles seem break that order, those laws, it fits in my brain only if they aren't miracles, and instead just further alleyways of order that we cannot yet see. We still need to winnow our way there.
Anne Lamott writes: The three things I cannot change are the past, the truth, and you. And sometimes this is my prayer. When I encounter anyone, I try to believe that. Nothing that has already happened can be erased. No matter how many times I lie and lie and lie to myself, to you, to them, it does not change the truth. And I cannot change who you are. I can love you. I can encourage--I can help you tell the story of your heart--but as much as sometimes I want to hold that power, I cannot change you. I cannot change anything but me, and therefore, perhaps a little bit of the present and future. That's it. But that ripple in the pond might be all that's needed to bring about one of those non-miracles.
Because I really believe we are God's hands in the world. We are all God has.
And then I think about the ink all over my skin. In the end, these are my prayers. Two of mine are elegant geometric illustrations:
There is order in the world and we can see it if we look.
One of mine commemorates a scary moment that turned out ok:
Thank you, I am grateful.
Two of them are a mantra to remember:
Let them be. It's fine.
One has a pair of crossed arrows with two hobo signs, a code on the back of my leg:
You can sleep in my hayloft/I will give you what you need if it is in my power
Don't give up. Please don't.
One is a single word in Russian, pointing outward toward the reader:
It costs me nothing. Nothing at all.
My latest is a compass:
Help me find my way as best I can. And let me help as best I can to be a guide.
That's all I have. Those are my prayers, bleeding out on my skin, I can't hold them in.