In a season of small epiphanies

I visit a confirmation class
because I have been asked to lead
a workshop on prayer
for eight fifteen year old boys,
and I know there will need to be
parables.

I want to say – prayer is not a selfie,
(I mean – it just sounds awful —
where are global needs, diversity, justice?)

but then I know it is exactly what it is —
I send a picture of me in the foreground
against the scenery
of all my hopes and troubles,
my friends leaning in,
but never with a long enough arm
to get the perspective I need.

I want to say – prayer is not Amazon Prime,
(really it can’t be some holy online order
that assumes free shipping),

but then I realize
how often my cart is full of confession.

I want to say – prayer is not like a fidget spinner
(it’s more than keeping something in motion
to ease anxiety within
and aid the need to concentrate without),

but who am I fooling?
The spiritual practices of those
whose wisdom has led me
included breath prayers and labyrinths,
centering prayer, rosaries, icons,
lectio divina, tongues, dance.

After all — at some point mustardseeds,
wineskins,
and financial suicide by pearl
must have seemed metaphorically shaky.

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8 Responses to In a season of small epiphanies

  1. Andrea Stoeckel says:

    That is amazing Maren…I hope every.single.person. ever called upon to lead Confirmation, who literally has no idea what in blazes to expect, gets this little “poke” by their leadership…. and ‘pokes” them back.

  2. dabar96 says:

    Your beautiful description opens the door to so much: attention to the reality of prayer’s initial selfie-ness, which, if observed long enough and quietly, usually reveals a mystic photo-bomber, changing the picture and focus altogether; a shopping cart or wish list that changes over time, as the person I become, slowly and often painfully realizes that, free shipping or not, most of the stuff I thought I needed by next-day-air turns out to be of little value; and nail beds chewed raw, worry paths worn smooth, as distraction keeps me in the room long enough for the great surprise of parable to unfold hope, despite my angst.

    Thank you!

  3. Rosalie Sugrue says:

    This is real cool dude! Such a comment betrays my age – the way you keep up with everything is amazing.

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