On Wednesday evening, after early voting, I dropped my spouse off at choir practice and went out to pick up some provisions at Trader Joe's. Along the way, I also stopped in a shoe store--the job that I start on Monday requires new shoes, as my old shoes are too informal and shabby.
I returned to the church before choir practice was finished. I had thought I might keep the pumpkin sellers company, but they were wrapping up. So, wishing I had brought a book with me, I went inside.
I sat for a minute and listened to the rehearsal. And then I saw the prayer loom in the back corner of the sanctuary.
In July, we moved it to its current location, and I've woven some prayers into the loom since then. It looks more full of threads and yarns, but I can't really tell if it's different. I'm happy that it's there, bearing witness to the different ways we might pray.
On Wednesday night, because I was wearing casual clothes, I could kneel in front of the loom; I don't feel comfortable doing that in my church clothes. I filled in some spaces near the bottom of the loom. For my first prayer, I asked for guidance and wisdom as I moved to my new job. I wove a different color yarn as I prayed for restored health for those I know who are struggling. I wove a different piece of yarn as I let various concerns drift through my brain, and I asked God to be with me.
I found it very calming and meditative to be weaving the yarn--but I always do. Wednesday was different--the sanctuary lights were dimmer, and the choir practiced a piece for Christmas.
I thought about the aspect of kneeling, which I don't often do when I pray. I had a friend once who said she put her glasses underneath the bed before she turned in for the night so that the first thing she had to do in the morning was to get on her knees to get her glasses--and then she'd remember to pray. Back then, her behavior seemed extreme. But now, I'm interested in the ways we can get our bodies involved in praying.
When people talk about bodily prayer, they're likely not thinking of my prayer loom experience. Perhaps they're thinking about yoga or walking the labyrinth or interpretive dance. But we're all after the same thing--to have a more complete conversation with God.
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4 days ago