Prayer

Prayer is not a thing to get done,

but rather a coming undone —

letting go of all the handholds

we cling to so tightly,

feeling our bodies pull away

from the cliff face we’re scaling.

It is being certain that

uncertainty can’t kill us,

and that getting to the top

is not true victory anyway.

Prayer is coming undone

alone

and together

until all we have are eyes

for the miraculous.

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In this earth

 

forest daily illumination

We walk among parallel trees,

our feet beating patterns in the same soft earth.

Yet peering at your distant peaks my heart leaps –

imagining with joy that day that I’ll reach you,

unaware that there is no reaching you

because you are already here,

in these trees,

in this earth,

in this place

where I now

am standing.

 

Since creation

mwegner photo
Photo credit: Michelle Wegner http://www.illuminatetheordinary.com

Whatever is most precious to you –

that wildly beating heart

in the alcoves of your soul –

bring it to me,

lay it before me,

and let’s gaze on it together.

Why do you tremble,

as if I would uncreate

what is already complete?

No, my child:

I have longed for you since creation.

 

One of those days

Hard to get up and go days,

Hard to put on that smile

To just feel normal days.


Feeling the air press against me days,

Feeling like I’m not awake

Like I can’t find my center days.


Seeing the darkness days,

Seeing my own frailty

The horror of separation days.


Finding you with me days,

Finding you gentle

Finding you listening

Finding you solid ground

Finding you here

Finding you loving me

Finding you with me days.

Sacred Sadness

**Disclaimer about this post: Chronic depression is an illness just like any other, and should be treated physically (in addition to spiritually) with the help of a medical professional, whether that be through lifestyle changes, counseling, and/or medication. Please, let’s all get the help we need.**

“Why should I be sad when Jesus is with me?” That was pretty much the thesis of every testimony I grew up hearing in the church. Between the lines I read, “I shouldn’t be sad, and if I am that means something is terribly wrong with me. I’m not faithful enough, not trusting God enough, and just plain not good enough.” For many years that message didn’t cause major problems for me – I was a mostly happy kid.

But in my early twenties I started to struggle with fairly regular bouts of depression. At first I simply had no idea what to do. Nothing in my faith narrative had equipped me to deal with depression. I thought it was all mental – that if I just willed myself to believe I was happy because God loved me, that I would be. Because, let’s face it, it’s pretty freaking awesome that God loves us. For real!

So yeah, I knew that God loved me and was with me. I mean, I really knew it. I started to engage in inner healing prayer and dove deeper into scripture narratives, where I regularly found myself encountering God’s presence.

But it didn’t, and still hasn’t, erased all sadness. And I don’t know that it should.

I no longer believe that my depression is only personal to me, that it’s merely a sign that something is wrong with me. Rather, sadness is a sign of the sacred. It’s a reminder that something is terribly wrong in the world, and that we have a God whose heart aches as a result. God allows the depression, giving me a glimpse of the horror that is the separation between us and the Father. For a time I am privy to the pain and isolation that so much of humanity experiences on a daily basis. God doesn’t shield me from all hurt because if he did, I would would miss the sacred calling to truly know Him and to enter into others’ pain with Him.

In walking through depression, I walk a sacred journey hand in hand with Jesus. He too was a “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” To know sadness is to know Jesus.

My desire now, when I feel the heavy mantle of depression descending is not only to ask, “God please let this be taken away from me.” It is also to say, with fear and trembling, “Let your will be done,” expecting that no matter what happens with my own life, God will surely show up.

Child

This is no fragile knot tied with my own fumbling fingers.
If it was we’d be done and I’d be gone,
Pulled under by the crushing weight of this ever-surrounding darkness.
I am tormented day and night
Until my soul sickens and my will weakens.
I doubt you, doubt us, doubt the me in us,
Afraid of crossing impossible lines.
But you.
You are.
And in your eyes, I am, too.
I am yours.
You chose me.
You said, “That one there, she’s mine. I choose her.”
Your words blazed brilliancy into utter black nothingness.
Your words summoned life from loose earth that lay useless.
You. Do not. Misspeak.
Your words are your will,
You create, you call,
You claimed me.
You did not misspeak.
I am your own.
I’ll never know it the way you do
But I take you now,
At your word.
Come what may there’s no changing it,
Though my spirit fails and my soul darkens
I shall always belong to you.