On this National Day of Prayer I pray…
I come to you on this day we set aside to pray, not to blast you with requests, not to tell you how I believe things should be going, not to petition you at all. I come to you today to listen. I want to hear your heartbeat, for our country, for our people, for our leaders, our government, our churches and for me. Instead of pointing my finger or shaking my fist, which is sometimes my default, I want to look in the mirror and see how I can change my perspective to match yours. Please show me how to do this in a world content to accuse without knowledge, and to argue without understanding. Each of us goes our own way, and we do not listen to your heartbeat for those we perceive to be our opposition. I do not listen to your heart for them, because I do not want to hear that your love is bountiful enough for us all.
There are too many voices, too much information, too many conflicts, too much noise. Today I turn off the noise both outside of me, and inside my head. I get on my knees both physically and figuratively. I allow this position of humility to do its work in me. I submit to you and your ways. I do not know all. I do not know any. I cannot even empty myself of myself. I wait here for you to silence my thoughts, and to quiet my heart…until I am only aware of my breath. In. Out. In. Out. I have nothing to tell you. Nothing to offer. No deals to make, no gates to storm…only my silence, my awareness of your bigness and my insignificance in relation to it.
Who is the one who breathed the stars? Who made the planets and the space they inhabit? Who separated light from darkness? Who brought forth flesh from dirt and breathed life into clay? Who keeps billions of hearts beating and blood pumping through miles of blood vessels? Who paints the sunset and causes the Earth to spin so I can witness the sunrise? Who breathes the wind to blow my hair or sprinkles the rain to sing me to sleep? Who illuminates the moon in the sky without a light source? Who gives the birds their notes to sing? Who formed magnificent mountains on such a tiny blue dot that hangs in space? Who races with the rushing waters to make it to the sea? Who causes the waves to lap or crash upon the sand? Who is big enough to do all these things and still more that cannot be seen?
It is you my Abba Father, my provider, my healer, my creator, my everything. It is you and only you. Can you not handle our government? Are you unaware of the circumstances that divide us? Are you oblivious to our current condition or surprised by the back biting? Are you, the one who knows every hair on my head, unconcerned for the economy, healthcare, the poor, the rich or the foreigners? The starbreather surely has these tiny issues well in hand. Who am I to question you? I am nothing.
The heartbeat begins…
You are my beloved. The one whom my heart loves. You are the one I adore, not because you have anything to offer me…but because you ARE. Your existence is enough. I do not waiver from my love for you based on what you do or do not do. I do not move because of your actions. Is that so hard to believe, my love? I move when my heart feels compassion. I move when my children wait on me. When you move on your own behalf…or even mine…you do not need me. When you accuse others, you are fact accusing me. Can you not see it daughter? I am the one who sets up leaders and takes them down. Kings, rulers, and bosses do my bidding, not their own. It only appears to you that I am not in control…in reality nothing escapes my notice. Nothing is outside of my grasp. You think you know…but you do not. You have small ideas that are limited by your small viewpoint. I am above time…there is no beginning or ending…there is only me. I AM. Rest. I AM. Know. I AM.
I will protect you… not from hardship, but from yourself. From living with small views of me. From thinking the world revolves around you. From living like you are the only one who matters. My job as your father is to teach and instruct you. It is to train you to see things from a higher place. Sometimes to go higher, you must first go lower. It is one of my mysteries…the way up, is down. It is obvious if you look at my son. He demonstrated for all to see. If the scales are off your eyes you can see clearly. Down is up. Up is down. Least is greatest. Greatest is least. Do not seek greatness child, for yourself, or your country. You cannot create greatness, only I can bestow that. Sometimes allowing greatness is the worst thing I could do for you. I am more concerned for your character than your comfort. When you are knocked down do not defend yourself. When you are pulled back sit and wait on me. Allow me to soften your heart… do not harden it. Bitterness quenches my work both in you and around you. It stagnates. It is poison. It stops my flow because it blocks my love. Guard your heart, my dear one.
Do not assume what I want and do not want for you. Seek me in silence. Wait for my words to your heart. Look for my ways. Remember they are not your ways. This applies in your life which ripples out to others around you like when a stone is thrown into a pond. It starts with one. I am the one. Do not forget about me. Do not count me out. I am first and last and my word stands even if you do not see it or hear it…even if it isn’t the word you want or like…even if it is invisible to you. It is not void. It is not old or irrelevant. It is not. It is life. It is breath to those who breathe it in. It is nourishment for your soul. It is my pulse. My love flows out from my heart into my words to you. They are this: You are my beloved. You are the apple of my eye. You are beautiful beyond description. You are the reason that I move. I have not and I will not abandon you. Ever. Do not forget that when you watch the news. Do not forget it when violence seems rampant. Do not forget that when all around you is turbulent.
I am for you. I am with you. I cannot hold back my love even if I try. I love you to my core. I am love. I am with you in the noise and in the silence. …in the light and in the darkness…in the calm and in the chaos. I am never apart from you. I have not left your country. I am right here. In you. Hold tight to my hand. Let me guide and direct you. To point your finger, you have to let go of my hand. To shake a fist, you have to let go of my hand. To put your fingers in your ears, you have to let go of my hand. Never let go of my hand. You will lose your way. Hold on tight and watch all that goes on around you with my pulse beating against your palm and with your head upon my chest. Can you hear my heartbeat? Can you hear it in the orphans cry? Can you hear among the poor and the prostitutes? Can you hear the slaves cry out for me to loosen their bonds? Can you hear your own voice among the others asking for relief? If you can hear, then you can also feel my tears for my broken creation? It is then that you will understand what is true and what is false. What is a distraction and what is real. What is life and what is death. I have given you eyes to SEE.
Thank you for your heartbeat. Thank you for sharing it with me. Help me to remember it always. Amen.