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Dry as bone

I've been working a lot lately.  A lot.  Actually, I've currently got two paid jobs and then throw motherhood in as the biggest unpaid job in the Universe (with the exception of God, I guess, but He doesn't need to pay the mortgage, so I'm not counting His work).  Both jobs have been really busy lately.  Come on: my primary job is at a church and Easter is Black Friday, the day after Christmas, President's Day and the first day of school - rolled into one - for a solid week of festivities.  Then, we've had baptisms and funerals as well.

On one hand, you could say I've been praying a lot:  all the prayer of Holy Week and Eastertide, the prayers of welcoming babies and burying the dead.  On the other hand, all of that is sort of like studying for finals:  you're doing a lot of reading, but most of it isn't very fun or personally satisfying.  You get done with finals and want to dig into a good novel.

My prayer life is like that.  I feel like I'm finishing up exams and all the rigor that requires, and now is time to do something "fun".  (And yes, I am deeply aware that most people would not put prayer into the "fun" category, but it does have a recreational side to it.)

I need to spend some time just talking to God.  I need to spend some time just looking at God.  Otherwise, the whole exercise of prayer becomes very dry.  Dry as bone, dull as dirt.  Spiritual reading, Psalms, music:  those are all forms of prayer that refresh me.

Of course, prayer isn't about *me*.  Prayer is about being in relationship with God. I can't give anything to God that He needs, but it is still a relationship that I have to give time and attention to.  I need to listen and watch, rest in Him, read what He puts in front of me, and reflect all that back to Him.  I need to be refreshed in Him, letting Him show me what is eternal and new. 

If I am not refreshed, then I'm just dry bones.  And dry bones don't do anything except collect dust.

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Crossing Guard

I saw you
today
as you guided
your little man across that busy street.

You were wearing some
big man boots
and
watching cars and lights.

Your little man had on
black sneakers and
a Mickey Mouse hat
that bounced
as he walked.

He wasn't watching nothing but
your big man boots
and
the white stripes of the crosswalk.

Just before
he got to the sidewalk again,
his step bounced a bit
- he hopped over
a spot where the asphalt broke.

You turned to look,
holding out a hand to
your little man.
Not rushed or angry,
just making sure
he got up
on that sidewalk.

Then you walked on,
in your big man boots,
face into a cold Michigan wind,
with the little man behind,
his hat bouncing.