What a week.
I’m feeling better, but so sluggish. As if the virus chose to leave the parting gift of zapping what little energy I possess.
Kate says: just.
She cut her hair short. Danced the Charleston. Was an early adopter of store-bought bread. Loved beautiful clothes.
In the time that I knew her, my Great-Grandma Jessie was a slim, white-haired lady, but she held onto the sass. She wore leather jackets, made bets on how long car trips would take and had an opinion on every topic under the sun. She was also gentle, kind and unendingly generous; as a teenager I admired a garnet ring she wore and she slipped it off her finger and pressed it into my palm. Only later did I find out that the ring was her retirement gift after years of working in a department store.
I want to be like her.
Family lore says that when someone tried to convince Jessie to move to a different expression and practice of faith, she replied, “I was born a Pentecostal and I’ll die a Pentecostal, thank you.” I love that so much. While I’ve never spoken in tongues or taken a ride on a chandelier (big smile for my charismatic friends), a bit of Jessie’s tradition comes out in me when I pray. I feel compelled to use my whole body. Hands moving. Rocking onto the tips of my toes and back again. There is something electrifying about knowing that, while I am here, I am also there, in the throne room of God.
Prayer doesn’t have to be long-winded or eloquent. Some of the strongest praying people I know stumble over their sentences. What prayer does have to be is more than “just.” Oh, I’m just praying. No, my dear. You are standing against the Devil himself every time you take your petitions to Jesus. You are in the arena, engaged in the battle, even when you don’t have words, when your prayers are silent and tinged with tears.
Not “just” anything, but the thing. All that you’ve learned from Scripture and sermons coming together in a bold act of faith. Choosing to believe that God really hears and really will respond.
What fierce people we might become, if we learned to take prayer seriously.
8 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Just”
Beautiful essay, Marie. I rather suspect Jessie is proud of you.
You’ve again inspired a poem. I hope you like it.
As my life winds down in pain
I have a simple prayer,
that I will see you, Barb, again;
when you reach Heaven, I’ll be there.
I will have to leave you soon,
I must go on before
But in the light of sun and moon,
I’ll be waiting by the Door.
I’ll stand post through the years
’till I see your well-loved face,
and we’ll be washed in angels’ tears
of joy when we embrace.
Love beats strong to my last breath
and beyond, conqueror of death.
Hi Marie – I’m next to you at #26 in the linkup. Thanks for sharing a bit of what your Great-Grandma was like and the legacy she passed on to you. It really came alive for me.
Oh Marie, just beautiful! I can picture Jessie through your words! We all need this reminder of how powerful prayer is and what a gift we have received to have the privilege of lifting them to God! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Cindy
Beautiful! I don’t always feel like I’m an elequent pray…er! I love what you said about how some of the best pray…ers you know trip over their words. No one is perfect, right?
Totally agree – standing face to face with our enemy is anything but “just praying.” I have a sweet friend, much like your great-grandma, in my life right now….and what a treasure and inspiration!!
Sometimes-most of the time?-I feel like I’m just talking to myself when I pray…
Lord God, I ask that You would grace Robin with a special, tangible sense of Your presence today, in a way that makes sense to her. I don’t know what that looks like, but You do. You created this dear daughter. You know exactly what she needs. Thank You for her life. Thank You for all the ways that You are working to redeem and reshape. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Marie, what a great legacy she left you! She is still speaking….