They speak of these things to me, and they ask me: When? How much? How often? They ask what I do and how I worship You.
Tell me, what do You hear?
What do You see as I walk along? All of these things I do—every breath that I take, every thing that I touch, every move that I make, every note that I sound—what is it? Is it my worship of You? Is my life, every second of it, my prayer—just as a life of a married woman, every second of it, marriage?
When three, five, ten times a day I raise my eyes to the sky and gasp in wonder and awe—storm clouds or blinding sunshine, brushstrokes of scarlet on wispy grays or a myriad scatterings of the Milky Way—and, half-choked, I whisper, “Glory, my Love… Look at the beauty of You… Look what you’ve made… Glory…” Is this my prayer to You?
When I move through the streets of my city, measuring potholes with my feet or with the wheels of my car, music of Earth and of Heaven filling the air and filling my mind, or pouring my thoughts out loud to You, feeling Your presence so tangible near me, around me, embracing me so that a grin on my face is indelible, all-consuming and glowing—as I meet the eyes of passersby, drivers, bikers, policemen, and hosts waiting with menus for customers, lawyers and homeless, the lost and the found, and as I see them smiling back, lines on their brows smoothing out just so, questioning lifts of eyebrows—but smiling, smiling, they don’t know why, but they do—when You see me move through the streets of my city, is this my praise of You?
Yesterday morning I entered Your church. I picked up a cloth of white, soft fabric. I soaked the cloth in soapy water and in wood-polishing oil. I put the cloth to the pews of Your church to wipe them down from dirt and grime, and with the first sweep of my hand the heart in me stopped and filled with air, the soul swelled large, the eyes burned sweet, and, oh, that familiar, always astonishing feeling overwhelmed me. Not just benches of wood—Your very beloved body was lying tired and covered with dust of fatigue and years under my hands. Under my hands was the body of Jesus, and I got the precious permission to soothe it and cool it and wash it this day, to touch it, to wipe its pain away, to sweep my cloth over dark wood of Your church, the body of You. Not even the labor of love this was but the act of love-making itself. And with each sacred touch I could only whisper, “Oh, Thou art beautiful, O My Love… Thou art beautiful so…”
Tell me, my Love. As I knelt in Your church, with soap and oil running down my arms, caressing the benches of old, dark wood, was this my worship of You?
In the eyes of the tired, the sad, the defiant, in the eyes of the angry and desperate I see the suffering You. In the eyes of the hungry, the pained, and the lost I see the suffering You. When I reach out my hand to them, is this my prayer, my Love?
In the laughter and song of a happy crowd, in the dance of a child ‘round a walking mother, in the loud dispute a group of friends holds over the noble and passionate things, sipping their tea at the kitchen table deep into morning hours—I hear and I see the joy of You, Your gentle hand, Your gracious smile. When I marvel at human spirit, is this my prayer, my Love?
In the silence of sleepy times, quiet hours, simple things…
In the textures of all things real, in the colors of all things changing, in the flight of my dreams and fancies, in the fur of a resting animal, in the memories past and painful, in the words that have been written, still to be said, still to be sung, in the ecstasy overwhelming, overflowing, of Your presence palpable, tangible, all-permeating—I feel You, I see You, I find You, I hear You, everywhere, in my heart.
I love You at every moment, with every heartbeat, with every shiver, with every breath.
I am You.
As I am.
You are me.
As we are.
All that is—all is You.
Is this my prayer, my Love?