Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Friday, August 26, 2005

Lacking Words

By then I wasn’t just asking questions; I was being changed by them. I was being changed by my prayers, which dwindled down nearer and nearer to silence, which weren’t confrontations with God but with the difficulty – in my own mind, or in the human lot – of knowing what or how to pray. (p. 52)

Wendell Berry captures my thoughts completely here in this tiny segment from his novel, Jayber Crow. My prayers, for the past year now, have been whittled down into sheer silence. Has this been accidental? I’m to the realization now that it has not been an accident. I used to spill my heart out to God in words and phrases that felt like they moved beyond the breath that eased out of my mouth. Now I sit in silence, almost in bewilderment, and the words don’t seem to surface. It’s not that I feel lonely or lost in my mystical relationship with the Creator. Rather, my words have no form, at least in the audible sense.

Do I ever pray aloud? Sure. At work sometimes they’ll ask me to lead a prayer before the day’s activities. I don’t mind although I find the words that were once easy to say hard to come by. The only prayer that I can seem to speak is the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father how art in heaven….). It is beyond me to comprehend why this transformation has occurred. In the past, my guilt would be produced from knowing that I wasn’t “praying” like I used to. I’m past that now. I accept the fact that silence comforts me more than hearing my own voice.