It has – finally – been a rainy day in NC. House opened for most of the day allowed the fresh smells of life to cleanse our house once more. I love when the windows are open. Dogs spy deer in the neighbor’s yard. A squirrel hunts for some lost treasure in the yard. The neighbor’s motor cycle revs up for a quick trip to someplace. And finally, when the heat of the day stalls the breezes and combines with the dampness of the rain to create humidity, I reluctantly close the windows and settle in for the night.
When I was a child, this generally meant a book or two being read to me by mom or dad. A quick kiss from dad and a trip upstairs with mom eventually coming up to braid my hair and listen to prayers. A special time. A time that made me cry silently in my pillow when I realized that those times were coming to a close as I drifted into the busy, late evenings of high school. Yet – even so – sometimes – I was able to curl into the one side of the scratchy pink couch after a busy day of being an oh-so-grown-up teen, and dad would rub my feet while he read or watched TV as mom sang, finishing up whatever chore needed done on her agenda. Evenually, my eyes would close until Dad’s kiss would wake me to send me off to bed.
My prayers never changed. In 6th grade, I made an cardboard trifold in vacation Bible school. A picture of Jesus in the garden and a couple of Bible verses on either side of it sat by the side of my bed with my Bible…an altar of sorts. It was there until I got married. I thought I knew a lot of the Bible back then. I thought I was pretty spiritually smart. Always said the LORD’s prayer, my “God-blesses”, the 23rd Psalm, added the beatitudes towards the end of high school and prayed for my daddy to live forever (he’d had two heart attacks by the time I was 16).
It was a good way to grow up. It is a habit that I have never really stopped – even when I strayed about as far from Our Father and His will for my life as I could possibly get. These days, a prayer before bed-time has now expanded to multiple prayers throughout the day, and I wonder….how I ever thought one prayer a day was enough. Praising God pops up when the Grands curl into my lap to read Highlights for Children – or when when I am walking through our small neighborhood – or when I walk outside and feel the rain splatter on my up-turned face – or when a friend calls to say they are hurting because cancer has struck and there is no one to hold their hand as they wait for the doctor – or….
You get the idea. This verse has been nipping at my heels all day today. It reminds me why I was born in times such as these. Pray, Thanks. Praise. It is the Will of God made known among men for times such as these….for all times….for eternity.
“Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Yeshua The Messiah among you.” 1 Thes 5:17-18
[art by Akiane and Art-Soul Works]