I want to begin by acknowledging the quiet in this space recently. I’ve been committed to writing in this space five days a week for you, and I still expect to maintain that rhythm here for the foreseeable future. But over these last couple weeks, life has caught up with me, and I’ve had to occasionally acknowledge the limits of my humanity once again.
One thing is true: I’ve missed being present in this space each morning of the week with you.
This morning, though, I had the chance to sit quietly at my desk for the first time in several days. As I sat there, I could hear my mind buzzing like a lawn mower and whirling things around inside like a big and powerful leaf blower. But I sat quietly with all that internal mind-noise, glasses off and eyes closed, and let my mind descend into my heart.
This is what prayer of the heart looks like for me.
My mind, with all its buzzing and snapping, floated down into my heart and slowly settled. There, I saw my heart fold open, a bit like a water lily resting on a lily pad, opening to the honest truth of myself and opening to the presence of God with me.
There is such a difference between the experience of the whirring and snapping of my mind and the experience of this prayer of the heart. I noticed that difference this morning.
When my mind is buzzing and plowing around, it’s like I’m talking to myself, trying to remember everything I need to do or dimly aware of the feelings surrounding me. I talk to myself about those feelings in my mind, telling myself: I feel sad. I’m overwhelmed. I’m scared.
But in prayer of the heart, I talk to someone — God, specifically.
When I open my heart like a water lily, laying my heart bare before God, and tell him what I think and feel, it’s an experience of relationship.
I feel sad. I’m overwhelmed. I’m scared.
It’s quite different to tell someone, with such vulnerability, what you are feeling, isn’t it?
What is it like for you to express the truth of yourself to another person? How is that different than expressing it just to yourself?