I don’t like words in my prayers.
It’s the writer in me. I’m too busy editing. Once the words fall off my lips, I’m correcting it. I’m explaining to God that’s not really what I mean. I’m tripping over the correct words instead of exploring the feelings and emotions behind those words.
So, about a year ago, I stopped using words. Not entirely. They still pop up in the words that I cherish from the Bible or the words that I mutter between silences – but most of my prayers and now found in black lines upon a page.
I started like I was in art school. That is, I started like an art student that went to seminary. I gathered all my materials. I sat down with some paper and I started to think about the end product before the seminary student interrupted. She knew better. She knew it wasn’t about the end product but about the process. And so, I practiced my own form of lectio divina using the cycle of readings provided in Between Sundays: Daily Bible Readings Based on the Revised Common Lectionary, but instead of writing or sitting in silence, I drew. I drew images from my living room and my neighborhood that spoke to the words I heard in the sacred text. This introduced a different critic. Instead of editing my words, I was thrown back into the studios of my college years. I hated the images I created. They were ugly. They were poorly drawn. They were unskilled. Read more