“Who could we pray for today?”
I ask the question with a newborn squirming in my lap and a toddler climbing up my knees. I’m sweating and exhausted and leading this morning prayer only out of sheer stubbornness to the scrawled schedule on the white board in our dining-room-turned-classroom.
Briefly, I consider a short list of all the places I would rather be: lounging on a tropical beach, working in my office, getting my teeth cleaned, honestly anywhere else. But the kids interrupt my daydreaming.
“For all the people who are sick.”
“For the doctors and nurses.”
“For all our friends and teachers.”
“For people who have died.”
“For scientists who are working on the vaccine.”
“For our neighbors and everyone else staying at home.”
“For trucks.” [We interpret the 2 year-old’s intercession as a petition for transportation workers.]
Prayers spill out of them, flowing fast as the milk that tumbled from a cup over breakfast.
I am chastened, humbled, reminded. I am listening again, listening to my children again, listening to God who has (once again) come to me disguised as my life.
This is not some kids-pray-the-darndest-things cuteness to make us chuckle. These are human prayers, the truest and simplest. The same few I can scrape together when my tired head hits the pillow each late night.
The sick ones, the dying ones, the grieving ones. The doctors and nurses and hospital janitors scrubbing floors. The grocery clerks and pharmacists and delivery truck drivers. The friends I miss like mad, the family I’m worried about, the teachers my kids won’t see again this year.
Here we are homeschooling, and my children are the ones teaching me.
Start simple. Keep going. Take a deep breath when it gets hard.
Pray when you don’t know how.
. . .
In my column this month, I wrote about one surprising prayer that has snuck into our quarantine days:
After the piano falls silent, the song lingers in my head. Later that night, I reread words of faith that have carried me through fear and grief:
“If there is anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.”
We are always kept in that same precious love. He’s got the whole world in his hands...
Read the rest at CatholicPhilly or in your local Catholic newspaper.
Where are you finding prayer in surprising corners?