My prayers don’t have words these days. It feels empty, forced, not at all genuine. I’m the kid calling home who really has better things to do. I’m not paying attention, just nodding my head and uttering a faint “uh huh” every couple of minutes.
I know this happens to everyone, I know it’s to be expected. I feel so emotionally and physically tired I don’t even care. Well, I must care a little or I wouldn’t bring it up.
I have taken a kind of church sabbatical over the last few years. I’d visit places but never really commit. People would welcome me in, welcome my family but I’d keep one hand on the door all the time. I’m busy, overloaded. They understand. They let me off the hook.
When someone approaches me worried about a common friend they use phrases like, “I wish he would do XXX” or “Can’t you talk to her about being more XXX?” and I always say, “I can’t make this person WANT to be different. I just have to love them where they are and let God do His thing.”
I am fairly sure I’m on the receiving end of that phrase now. I’ve felt a lot of love, a lot of letting go, a lot of letting God do His thing. He’s subtle in doing His thing.
Someone last night asked me if I’m planning to go to a church now that we’re back in Chicago. It was an unexpected question. In Nashville the question was usually “Where do you go to church?” always assuming that a)I’m a Christian and b)I’d want to be in a church. Here in Chicago it’s only people who already know my faith choice who ask that. It’s such a diverse community it’d be social suicide to ever assume much of anything.
So when this friend asked if I’m going to go to a church it came from her own lack of ambition about going to a church and her knowledge of my struggles in the past. I answered her without thinking- “I’m becoming Orthodox.”
And then on the way home I thought, “am I becoming Orthodox?” I haven’t been to Liturgy…yet. I haven’t contacted the Orthodox people I meant to connect with…yet. I haven’t been able to pray…yet.
My prayers don’t have words these days…
So I put up my home altar and I lit some candles
because it’s all I can think to do.