I am feeling in a reflective mood these days. I have been working quite hard lately and over the last several weekends have had a lot of time to interact with some wonderful folks and to create sacred space for retreat. So knowing that next week brings another amazing time of immersion with wonderful folks and creative expression, my inner hermit is asking for some nurture. The news about Tune adds to my desire to just be still with her, to simply relish the unfolding of each moment.
At my work with the Ignatian Spirituality Center we offer some programs through a wonderful place called the Recovery Cafe, serving people with various addictions. The last couple of weeks I have had the gift of simply attending one of our programs and being present to the community there. On the very first day as we were invited to share our image of God or our Higher Power with each other, one of the participants said that he doesn't pray to God, he prays in God. If God is not some distant figure in the sky then there is no "to" necessary in prayer. I was so touched by this simple shift in language. I have long experienced and believed in a God who is closer to us than ourselves, and yet this reframing of the words I use was gift. I now find myself praying in God throughout each moment, breathing in grace, breathing out peace.
In our introductions, people shared some of their own struggles to recover from various addictions. I shared that my father was addicted to alcohol, gambling, and sex, and so I had experienced intimately the affects of addiction on a life. I sat with that word "recovery" and discovered within it the word "recover." We are all on a journey of trying to recover something essential about ourselves that has become distorted or lost. My recovery may not be from alcohol or drugs, but I am trying to recover many other things I have lost.
What are you trying to recover these days of spring abundance?
What would it mean for you to pray in God rather than to God? What difference might that make?
Make sure to visit the wonderful and amazing Poetry Party this week!
© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts