Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rainy Morning

I woke to the rain yesterday morning—falling steadily on the roof. At first I didn’t know what it was because it hasn’t rained in a long, long time. I relaxed, sinking deeper and deeper into the softness and warmth of my bed. I didn’t fall back asleep, but the rain soothed me. Listening intently I tried to separate the sounds. The rain hit the roof in a hard, rhythmic pattern. It gushed through the gutters and rushed down the drain spout—pouring out onto the edge of the porch below. Lulled by the sound I hovered in a sleepy awareness. I had forgotten what an absolutely incredible place a dark, rainy morning can be.

I wondered what time it was; I really didn’t want to know because I certainly wasn’t interested in rising. I listened more and began to pray.

And the prayers became like rain, coming naturally, forming patterns and gushing and rushing, quietly whooshing as a whisper on the other side of my voice. It was like my breath. Perhaps that is exactly what was happening—breathing in and breathing out—praying is that simple and yet that complex. We don’t need to understand the biological details to know we must breathe.

We just breathe.

Prayer is the same. We don’t have to understand how prayer works, how it reaches the Father’s ears amid millions of others being uttered at the same time, in order to pray.

We just pray.

For a few moments yesterday morning I entered a sanctuary—a holy place. For just a moment I could smell the incense burning and smoldering. For just a brief interlude I could see the smoke rise—curling and wafting upward. (Psalm 141:2)

Then I heard the rain again. I listened to it move down the shingles of the porch roof. My bed was even warmer, the covers and blankets were heavy. Then the alarm sounded; I came out of my sleepy awareness to drowsy alertness and reached for my phone on the nightstand…

Somehow those few brief moments were more real than the cold, wooden floor as I stood to get ready for the day.

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