On praying for Sue in ceramics class
Today I was intensely aware of God urging me to say something for his sake and the sake of others, and to not be concerned by what was at stake for myself.
I dislike praying aloud. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. I barely have the courage to squeak out an amen after someone else prays. I fidget when people offer to (and then do) pray aloud for me. The Quaker tradition of remaining silent until the holy spirit “moves you” to speak in prayer has always perplexed and intrigued me. Though I’ve never dreaded it, because I’ve never thought of myself as the best-fitting conduit for a divinely inspired message, I’ve also never really looked forward to such scenarios. I’ve never really yearned to be a person moved to speak.
Today I was shoved into it, and I was supernaturally sensitive to it, and I argued and pushed back. I had an actual conversation in my head about it; about my reluctance, my fear, how uncomfortable the prospect of addressing God publicly makes me. Petitioning to god in front of others simply isn’t my jam. Maybe because I don’t I like to punctuate every three words with “Dear Lord” or “Heavenly Father,” and the over-usage of “just” (“God I would just like to pray that you would just come down just to be near to us and I just hope that we could just receive you just as you are and we could just…”) makes my skin crawl.
More likely it makes me uncomfortable because I don’t feel like I have a right to speak to God when in a group. I have no claim on his attention when much more Godlier people are right beside me.
But he pressed on my heart and told me to speak when the message instantly flashed to my consciousness (rather than the kind of realizations you come to slowly while mulling over other things). He nudged me over and over. He wouldn’t drop it. I felt my heart race, I kept coming up with all the reasons I should stay quiet, I kept saying no. I could even feel him starting to give up, starting to retreat, and though I didn’t feel shame, the panic of not serving him when I had such an opportunity thrust upon me—the opportunity of feeling actually worthy of relaying a message—overcame the panic of publicly acknowledging that I ask for things from God.
I guess this is such a big deal to me because today was the first time God used me and I was aware of it as it was happening. That immediacy has never occurred for me before. I’ve only ever known God had used me through examining my actions later with hindsight. This almost in-person dialogue of my resistance and his persistence has really thrown me for a loop.
How do I remain receptive to this? How do I keep striving for this collaboration?
Trust yourself. At the root, at the core, there is pure sanity, pure openness. Don’t trust what you have been taught, what you think, what you believe, what you hope. Deeper than that, trust the silence of your being.
epiphanies, entry 18
I simply need to do more for others. I need to get out of my own head. I am too selfish, too narcissistic, too concerned with my own egocentric experience of the world.
I need to love others. I need to answer my call to love the world. I’m starting to get this deep-down sense, that in some roundabout way, only changing my attention to the art of loving others will be the way to finding what there is to love in myself.