"Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace."
Matthew 11: 28–30 – The Message.
 
We have, at this unexpected moment in time, a rare and beautiful opportunity to learn to STOP. And I would love us to make it count. I’m trying to put aside my desires to be busy and useful, and to instead consider this a God-given moment to rest with Jesus.
 
As I’ve struggled to find a new routine and a new normal, this is my prayer for this peculiar season: that God would teach me and each of us how to pray again. That prayer would not be about the daily bedtime ritual or the Sunday ceremony and routine that we’re so used to, but instead that we might put off tidying the closet, the painting work, the long-neglected filing or fretting about the stock market and sit with God; that together we would be able to look at the hurting without fear and find joy in the moments of grace; that we would see the hands of Jesus in the acts of selflessness and the wounds inflicted on his body in peoples’ woeful actions; and that we could bring it all before God, and sit and weep together.
Then, as we and God bravely look at our hurting world, we can re-evaluate with him where we spend our time, money and skill to bring life, light and healing.
 
For as Eugene Peterson writes:
“Prayer is not a scarecrow put together from old scraps of lumber and cast-off clothing and then pushed into the soil, it is a seed that germinates in the soil, sensitive to everything that is there–nitrogen and potash, earthworms and potato bugs, rain and sun, April and October, rabbit teeth and human hands.”
 
A Prayer for Today:
Father, give us courage to stop.
Give us courage to listen.
Give us courage to see the world as it is, and faith to see what it could be.
Inspire us to pray where we find ourselves now, with all the beauty and the brokenness,
And to give ourselves again to your service.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
Amen.

The Rev. Jane P. Ferguson
Assistant for Liturgy, Outreach and Student Ministries