Thursday, August 13, 2009
Post Birthday Musings
Some even said "I prayed that things would be different this year!" How do you explain to someone that prayer is not a quick fix, an instant healing? Prayer is not asking, it is a longing of the soul. It is a daily admission of one's heart; it is giving words to that you seek answers for. I don't attend church on any regular basis, weekends are often on call or working. Life doesn't stop according to the calender, and disaster does not take a day of rest. But my faith is a quiet, deep stream and I talk to God daily. You can call it prayer if you want. I don't say a whole lot when I pray, but I know He hears, for isn't it better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart?
Hindsight is 20/20. I look back at many things that have happened to me, love, loss, illness, times of searing pain that have honed me into the person I am. I wake up too sometimes with dread for the direction I see our country headed, fearful in the things that concern all of us, yet I truly believe that life is good, each day an adventure. For there's a hope in me, a wonderment just to be alive. If some higher power could have kept me from feeling life's pain would I have asked for it? Of course. Yet I would not be who I am, without my experiences. I am a better person for my trials. Think of something that you wished for, and didn't get, that ended up being something completely unexpected, and even more wonderful.
I was a teenager and abandoned by my boyfriend when I first believed I was pregnant. Scared and angry as I first prayed "oh please don't let me be", I had not known, in my brief years, that life itself lay embedded in each lustrous moment. I had yet to grasp the science and wonder that changed amino acids into living cells or glimpse the miracle of spontaneous healing - forgiveness where once there was despair and anger. I had listened to a hundred old hymns as I grew up and loved the music, but had not dared hope that from my own flesh I would see the transcendent.
I am reminded daily that I am, we all are, destined to die—but just as surely to participate in our role in creation.And she was born. I had prayed that it would not happen. Now someone new and beautiful lay breathing, a soft deep breath of trust in life. I really didn't know how lacking in hope I had been until then. And the event that I had prayed would not take place became my greatest accomplishment and her small redheaded form, my biggest act of courage.
And on this MY birthday, she was alive and well, having a wonderful meal with her adoptive parents, followed perhaps by a call to her "other Mom", with their blessing. We could laugh and talk of many things, of books and movies, friends and dreams. We could giggle like long friends, and, for a moment, that ache of loss will be but a wisp of woodsmoke drawn up from my outdoor fireplace into the promising night.
For on my birthday and always, I am thankful for her and all she has brought to a wonderful family. So I'd have to say on this birthday that turned out much different than I'd planned a year ago - what we have, even if unplanned, was worth celebrating. The surprises in our life, when we think there are none left, are things to savor.
I'd also say our prayers are all answered; we just don't always get the answer we want. As much as you might wish it to be, you can't always measure the work of the universe with order and logic, any more than you can expect to have everything you ask for. For neither our government, or our God, are some sort of divine help-desk we can call for response to every monetary and physical need. But I do believe that with our God, that we are heard. So on this birthday I would continue to pray for family, for a small group of friends whom I love, and that great liberty of laughter and hope, still knocking on my door.