Scripture, story and song
We are living through strange and distressing times. Amidst all that is happening right now, how easy are you finding it to pray?
To be honest, I often find it pretty difficult to pray. The anxieties and demands of the present moment so easily overwhelm me. But God can still find a way in. Here are some of the ways that I’ve felt God’s presence this week:
Through Scripture. Yesterday I found myself reading one of the passages which – if we were in church – we would hear this Sunday: Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37.1-14). This is one of the most evocative passages of the whole Old Testament. I sat down in a comfy armchair and read it slowly with a cup of tea. And somehow God’s voice came alive for me: ‘I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live…’ (Ezekiel 37.14).
Through story. A couple of days ago I finished reading a wonderful novel, Olive Kitteridge, by the American writer Elizabeth Strout. Through snapshots of life in a small coastal community the novel charts one woman’s painful journey to love. As I finished the final page I felt gripped by the depth of humanity and the power of love – and in that moment felt suddenly connected to God.
Through song. One of my favourite musicians is the singer-songwriter Audrey Assad. A few days ago she released a beautiful new song called Shiloh, a poetic balled exploring healing in the midst of grief. Listening to it has become a form of prayer this week.
In this time of crisis and isolation it may feel like God cannot reach us. But that isn’t true. Even when we are cut off from the sacraments, God continues to meet us in the ways he has always done: through Scripture, story and song.
I wonder where God might be reaching out to you at this present moment? How might you make space to hear his voice in Scripture, story and song?
With my love and prayers,