PRAYING

Luke 11:1-13
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

A Sewn Prayer

A Sewn Prayer (quilted piece by Cherie Marckx)

How do we pray?
Better Question,
What is prayer?
We generally think of praying as
a communication,
a heartfelt
request to a higher authority,
in its extreme, begging.
Jesus taught a prayer-form,
or a model for praying.
But he was teaching novices.
We have been around prayer
and pray-ers enough
to have a grasp
on having a conversation with God.
But there is prayer
and then there is prayer.
Sometimes prayer is asking God for
a need to be met,
a person to be cared for,
the fruition of a dream—
things like that.
Sometimes prayer is pure
action,
and getting things done for others.
Showing up to help.
Giving aid to those in need,
walking through the dark
to bring light to the hopeless—
making things happen.
But there is another kind of prayer that
transcends
our sense of self,
and it takes on two basic shapes.
First it is like breath itself
and is inhaled and exhaled
and suffuses
with the beats of our hearts
and mingles
with our cells.
The Second is similar to the first,
but takes on the form of our
very being
—the Self of ourselves—
and becomes,
in its very nature,
a persona of the Sacred Presence.
Desire for the Sacred
and fulfillment
become one,
and we become
one as well.
Walking in beauty.
Living in grace.
Drinking in wonder.
Eating in cosmic splendor.
Sharing our breath with holiness.
Being true
and profoundly real
and living authentically as the being
that was created to be ourselves
is to be
in conversation with the Divine Presence.
It is to be
the prayer itself.
Being the prayer
is not about feelings,
it’s about being
our authentic selves
the best we can be—
bring the
lumps, bumps,
fear, courage,
exuberance, fatigue,
joy, grief
into the present
and being that
only-one-true-us.
We may grow.
We may change.
We certainly will age.
But we are always
just what we are at any given
moment.
It is in that moment,
every moment
that we are one with
God,
and we don’t have to do
anything special
to become
the prayer,
except to
just allow ourselves
to be…

ON JUDGMENT DAY

On Judgement Day

On Judgement Day

Amos 8:1-12
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Just a guess,
but I’m thinking Amos
didn’t get invited to a lot of dinner parties.
Whew!
He was one of the raging prophets
that railed against
the ruling class’s perpetration of cruelty
and enforced poverty
against the already poor.
Yet rather than write off
the howlings of Amos,
let us look at
who, when, what, and why
he was.
He was the first of the prophets
to preach the death
and destruction of
God’s people because
of their indecent treatment of the poor.
But he was also a rancher who was,
or had been of the upper middle class
of the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
He had seen or heard of
Solomon’s rape of the united kingdom
to support his own splendor,
which was so thorough
that when the kingdoms finally split
neither were left with enough resources
to actually do battle.
He now watched as the kings
to the North started dismantling
the family farming system,
placing them into the private hands
of the small estates of a wealthy ruling class.
He had witnessed this,
either first hand or
through stories, in Judah.
He was a lay prophet and not a priest.
He was angry and scared,
and he was right.
What he said would happen, did.
Assyria literally crushed Israel
and it was lights out.
So,
how do we know
when the random crazy person
on the street corner
is not so random and
is actually speaking truth?
When someone claiming to
have a word from God,
actually has a word from God?
I suppose
it depends on whether
your heart is hardened or not.
Whether you are open to change.
Whether you can recognize
Truth when you hear it.
Sometimes truth challenges
our assumptions,
our comfortable
self-awareness and knowledge,
and our elevated ideas
about ourselves.
From whom
are we willing to hear
the word of God
when it says we
are just wrong-headed
and need to change?
And from where will
we find the courage to truly hear?

JUST LIKE YOU

The Mantle Waiting

The Mantle Waiting

2 Kings 2:1-14
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Out for a walk with a prophet.
Taking a stroll
with a person of God.
Slouching through the desert,
town to town,
oasis to oasis,
river to river.
One younger and inexperienced—
green.
The other the embodiment of wisdom
and righteous power,
a legitimate voice of God,
and recognized
by the Guild of Prophets.
Elisha
asks
Elijah
if he could have,
“Your life repeated in my life.
I want to be a holy man just like you,”
and with fifty members
from the Guild of Prophets observing,
Elisha picks up the cloak and the rest is history—
signed, sealed, and delivered.
The question for us is
do we have spiritual leaders that we
want to emulate with our lives?
Do we have any leaders?
Who do we know
that we would want
repeated in our lives?
Be careful.
Think smart.
For the person we might want to emulate
got that way through a process.
Are you hoping
to get to that person’s place
the cheap way,
or are you willing
to walk the same walk?
In the end
you will still be you
and nothing will change.
In the end
you will never be you again,
and everything will change.
The question is really,
are you willing to pick up the cloak?
Are you willing
to really become…?

The Time Has Come for Love — truly!!!