A Plethora of P's / #12: "Prayer"
I had another “P” word ready for this week, but sometimes plans change. Things out of our control send us in another direction.
We’ve all been watching, living in, or at least are aware of what seems a world gone mad. It’s as though strife and wars and natural disasters have gone into warp speed. If you focus on it, it’s a bit terrifying. But we also have distractions… our lives to live, kids’ lunches to pack, dogs to walk, clothes to wash, deadlines that still need meeting … and while places like the Middle East and Japan and Haiti may visit our homes via satellite, it’s impossible, and not particularly useful, to remain in suspended disillusionment and grief.
At the same time, it’s kind of hard to write about say, typefaces, when you know that an hour north people’s homes are flooded, and an ocean away people are fighting for their lives.
And I can sit here and feel bad that there’s nothing I can do for those in need, a world away, facing unbelievable hardships. Maybe even feel guilty that I’ve just enjoyed a healthy meal and know that I’ll sleep in my own bed tonight. I can think that whatever I’m doing, even in writing this, is completely meaningless in light of catastrophic events. But these thoughts … don’t serve a purpose either.
I’m not a doctor or a diplomat, a scientist or a farmer. I don’t have wealth to send to those in need. But I can acknowledge. I can care. I can send up prayer.
I’ve never doubted that a higher power existed. I see and feel evidence of spirit everyday; not always in ways that can be described in factual detail…. and I suppose that has something to do with “faith”. Sometimes it’s a leap, and sometimes a simple step, a shift in thought. But 2 things are clear to me: prayer can be very powerful, and the world we live in sure needs a big dose.
I wouldn’t pretend to prescribe how to pray, or to whom or what… but I feel that it can be a wish, a thought or an all out religious cantation. It can be drumming, chanting, song, dance. It can be meditation, or painting. However it occurs, and for however long (or briefly) it lasts, you feel it in your bones; your heart expands. At its most effective, it penetrates time and the mundane and becomes a state of consciousness in which you connect to divine energy… and there lies its power ~ accessible, I personally believe, to all who are willing to go there with good intentions.
Prayer is love, wrapped in hope; hope wrapped in love. It works in mysterious ways, and while it needn’t be reserved “for emergency only”, there are a lot of devastated people in the world right now in need of our prayers.