Thank you for your patience and grace, as I’ve been away this week enjoying time with family. I’ll be back this coming Monday, blogging as-per-usual. Please join us next Wednesday for Imperfect Prose. e.
Today I’m welcoming Diane Bailey, a mentor and a friend. She is one of the most talented photographers I know, and she is kindness through and through. It is an honor and a privilege to welcome her to my blog today.
There are times in this life, when talking with God, when praying a fervent prayer, is beyond what I can do on my own. I lay on the floor, with pen in hand, trying to place one word after another to no avail. Sometimes, the grief I am observing is greater than the words in my vocabulary.
Turning page after page, I try gleaming words from the Bible. Looking over the phrases highlighted over the years hoping something will set my soul free to tell God about the things in my heart. And still, there is a void in my prayers.
On my knees, in a posture of prayer, I rock back and forth with groaning that only the Holy Spirit can understand. His love provides this default mode for prayer. As babies, before words are known, cry out to the parent, and the parent begins to interpret. So the Spirit of God interprets the groan of our heart.
And, as I kneel before The Lord with sound indistinguishable to the human ear, a sound begins to rise from the center of my being. The sound is so soft at first that I am not aware, but it grows with clarity and strength – the sound of a song.
The song is old, and perhaps I first heard it before I was able to understand language itself – But a song that the soul knows well.
Somehow the soul remembers songs when it cannot remember conversation. I saw this happen once in church. After years of absence due to final stages of Alzheimer Disease, an elderly woman brings her husband to church. He had not recognized his wife in years, though she dressed and fed him daily.
The wife walks patiently with her husband to the front of the sanctuary, and there is confusion on his face as he listens to the announcements, as well as the sermon. But when we begin to sing the hymns his head lifts, and his spirit takes over.
Without the aide of a hymnal, this man who no longer knew his own name, began to sing out loud, the words of the hymns. When he knew nothing else, he knew how to worship The Lord.
So there, on my knees without words of my own, I begin to sing.