Friday, May 15, 2009
Did You Pray, Mom?
"And a little child shall lead them." --Isaiah 11:6 c
Last night I got home around 6:30 from a long and wonderful afternoon at Black Rock with my class. They are there on a 3-day science retreat. (I don't teach science, but they wanted me to come up for at least part of the time. How sweet.) Went on a long hike through the beautiful Pennsylvania forest, down a muddy, rocky, 45-degree slope to the creek where I snapped tons of pictures as the kids scooped up critters from the rocks and water to examine. Sixty minutes later climbed back up that steep hill for a half hour and, of course, was hot, sweaty, icky, but feeling happy and refreshed.
Came home, took a long, hot bath and accidentally got shampoo in my right eye. It burned like crazy. After getting dressed, it still smarted like the dickens. I couldn't look at the computer screen or the TV or even bear the lamp light. I kept my eye covered with a kleenex and told Joel I couldn't find Waldo with him right now. My eye hurt too much. I just needed to keep it closed and rest awhile is what I told him.
"Did you pray, Mom?"
Gulp. Why, after 33 years as a Christian, does it still not occur to me first thing to pray in a situation? Why? Yes, in a major crisis I do. When I'm stuck for answers or feeling helpless, I cry out to God. But when I think I can fix it myself, it doesn't even occur to me. I don't get it. God has been raising his megaphone because whispers of my self-sufficiency don't always penetrate the spiritual wax build-up in my ears.
"Mom," Joel repeated, snapping me out of my guilty pondering, "did you pray?"
"No, honey, I didn't."
"You should, " he said, "You should always pray." And then he added some sage advice for a 7-year-old. "And keep your eyes open. Keeping them closed makes it worse."
That last line could be its own sermonette.