A short, long Prayer.

“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:44

 

Dear Jesus,

           …And that little blinking line blinked…

for two hours,

as she stared in stifled silence at the computer screen

without a prayer in her head.

“Dear Jesus” she said!

over and over, slowly, sporadically,

sometimes a whisper, sometimes a whimper,

sometimes a tear said it for her,

rolling down her cheek and shrieking

“Dear Jesus!” as it fell, suspended and clinging.

Then there was nothing.

just wishing—wishing for something more than “Dear Jesus”

Then there was nothing

just Dear Jesus…

Amen

 

A short poem that I think needs no explanation. I don’t know if you have ever prayed something like this, but it has happened to me enough to want to let somebody know they are not alone. It happened to me the other day. I sat with my Bible in front of me, hands folded and began, “Dear Heavenly Father…” but could add nothing more. I suppose at this point I could expound that truth, that there is nothing that we can do to add to anything that Jesus does…except I’m not sure if I believe that, not if He calls us salt, seasoning for the earth. Actually, I’m fascinated by my “nothing” prayer. I stared, just looked past, everything and everybody. I don’t know for how long. It wasn’t two hours, but if there were any words that came out they didn’t come from me because I was too busy praying, “Dear Jesus.” And I was not saying it cordially, i was not introducing myself to him; I was terrified. I could find nothing to be thankful for, I felt deep in the darkness, I knew i needed Jesus’ help but I didn’t want it. I was a man without thoughts, yet I was able to think one thing; I’m dead. Spiritually I had nothing; I was dead.

It is hard to say what saves a man from such a state (though I believe I know). Maybe just knowing that you are dead is what allows you to come to life. That is Christian Language is it not? When there is nothing, there is nothing but…Jesus.

I hope to never again find myself praying a “nothing” prayer, because as true as all the emotions are I realize it is still a lie. The whole time Jesus was there, initiating that silence with myself, a personal Garden of Gethsemane where truth begins in silent terror. It was nothing but Jesus, illuminating, lighting the way back to him through the quiet darkness. It my be true that we can be dead, but it is lie to think that is how we must remain. Our incredibly near God is everlasting, and extremely loud if you are listening to the stillness.

 

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