Slow Speak

Often, when I pray, if I pray, it is a rushed and shallow-felt rendering of phrases.

It is a call for Jesus “to be with” and “to be in,” but is pierced with rush and busyness.

It is prayer in the loudness, and then, when all is quiet, I’ve quite forgotten the slow ways.

I drove to the salon to get my haircut. Usually, I get in the Highlander and turn on the radio, scanning stations for something sweet and melodic, something to match my particular mood.

But I remembered the past week, heavy things, broken things that every moment receive God’s attention and heart–why not mine?

So, I held my butterfly coffee mug in one hand and steered with the other. And I opened myself and began slow, began with His name and my stilled breathing.

The slow speak of prayer requires something of us. We see God, we acknowledge His depth as best we can, and we lay ourselves, unveiled, into His waiting presence.

Jesus, {pause, breath}… and His kind ears are attentive and I know that He is good.

And my heart speaks over Nigeria, over mothers and grandmothers, babies and fathers, broken and torn feet.

And my heart speaks over France, and over my friends, and over our life.

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Duke University announced an opportunity for Muslim students to worship in prayer on Fridays, and because of the threats of men like Franklin Graham via Twitter, revoked it.

A step toward solidarity, and many steps back.

So, I prayed that my Muslim friends would know the holiness of Jesus.

And then I prayed that Christians would, too, because the truth is that we all miss Him–uncharted, holy, deep water that is rushing and pure through and through.

And in our hurry to give Him words, we put Him into those hand-made boxes again, and He simply says, Dear one, no.

So today, and, we hope, tomorrow,

we practice slow speak, and we recognize that Jesus is the Holy Sovereign, whether we understand it or not, and we count our words and breath, remembering that His listening heart does the same, with mercy abounding.

Hallelujah. 

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