Prayer is the intermediary to Grace. Prayer connects us to the mystical, spiritual, divine essence of Life.
It’s not a religious thing for me. It’s a spiritual openness. A portal into the divine essence of life where, when I look upward, I remember the Grace that imbues life with all of Nature’s wonder, awe and possibility.
Because, when all feels lost, when there appears to be no exit, no safe recourse, no possibility of another step, I look upward and I pray and Grace finds me wherever I am, how ever I am and fills me up with hope.
This morning, as I sat at my desk and watched the river flow and the rain fall and the bright-green, newly budded leaves on the trees shimmer in the breeze, tears gathered at the back of my eyes and my heart filled up with gratitude that flowed upward from deep within my body and soul.
On this morning in 2003, I stood by a gentle flowing river, looked up into the blue sky and I prayed. Hard.
I prayed for death to take me.
I did not want to live. My life was one long, fearful moment running blindly into the next. At the time, the abuser and I were in hiding while he evaded the police and tried to get out of the country. I sat in silence. Never threatening the status quo. Never making waves that might disrupt him. Though, given his propensity to fly into a rage no matter what I did or said, avoiding making waves was kind of impossible.
On this day, it had been almost three months since my daughters, or anyone from my past, knew where I was or if I was alive. They feared the worst.
I prayed for the worst. I wanted him to end my life because I was not courageous enough, or strong enough, to do it myself. At least, that’s what I told myself. Though my words were not so kind. They bordered on the abusive, a mirror of the names he liked to call me.
By that time, everything in my life had become enmeshed in his lies. The only truth I held onto was that I loved my daughters. I could not make a lie of that truth by taking my own life.
And so, I prayed for release by him or some other outside force.
My prayers were answered. Not as I expected but by a blue and white police car that drove up and arrested the abuser at 9:14am on this morning in 2003. It wasn’t the physical death I was seeking. It was, however, the death I needed. The end of that relationship.
I am grateful my prayers were answered. I am grateful the Universe, The Divine, God, Allah, Yahweh, The Light, Almighty, All Powerful, however you call it/her/him, answered my prayers in a way that was life-giving, not life-ending.
But then, that’s the thing about Grace. It creates. It opens. It welcomes. It does not destroy.
Up to that moment of being released from that relationship, I had prayed for gravity to magically release its hold on my body so that it could fall of its own volition into the river and be washed out to sea.
Instead, Grace descended and embraced me, washing away my fears, my horror, sorrow, grief, anger, shame leaving me free to do what I needed to do to reclaim my life and Grow Wild. Live Strong. Love Always.
Seventeen years ago today I was given the miracle of my life.
I am grateful.
This morning, I look upward and say a prayer of gratitude.
And the sky and the trees and the river and the grasses and the flowers and the squirrels tucked safely in their nest in the hollow trunk of a tree that protects them from the rain coming down, and the geese huddled up against the riverbank, and the songbirds sheltering in the grasses, answer my prayers with their gift of nature dancing wildly in living colour, in Love with all of Life.