Friday, April 24, 2015

Plant Prayer Flags This Spring

Wednesday was Earth Day, which I didn't remember until later in the day.  In a way, I feel like I already celebrated it, since I wrote a post for the Living Lutheran site a month ago.

That Earth Day post is now up at the Living Lutheran site.  It asks the question:  what shall we plant if we're not good at gardening?

My answer:  prayer flags!

You might say, "But I'm also not good with creating things out of fabric."

I have good news:  my project only requires scraps of fabric and no sewing:

"I don’t mean the traditional Tibetan prayer flags, although those flags inspire this idea. Naomi Sease Carriker, a pastor, told me about her simple practice at a recent Create in Me retreat at Lutheridge, a Lutheran camp and conference center in Arden, N.C.

She writes prayers on tulle, a thin cloth, and ties them to pieces of lattice fencing in her garden. She takes great joy in seeing them flutter in the breeze. The fluttering reminds her to pray."

I wish I had a picture of this project, but I don't.  The picture above is from a Create in Me retreat where we experimented with batik techniques.

But why do this at all?  There are many reasons and the post explores them.  Here's one of them:  "Any practice that reminds us to pray has value, and this prayer flag idea has an added bonus. I need to be reminded that I pray so that I turn over issues to the one who is much more powerful than I am. Prayer flags give us this ongoing symbol: that we release the prayers to go to the creator who can handle it from there. The visual reminder to let go of some of these concerns once I've prayed about them seems especially important in our culture that prizes self-sufficiency and the ability to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps."

I'm also interested in spiritual practices that get me out of my head and back into my body.  It's too easy to get distracted when I rely only on words and language.  I don't discuss this overtly in the piece at the Living Lutheran site, but it's woven through.

Go here to read the whole essay.

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