Thursday, February 22, 2018

Light, praying

This morning I was interrupted twice while at Morning Prayer. Ordinarily I might respond, “I’ll be with you after Morning Prayer,” and, perhaps, “Would you like to join me?” But today both interruptions were things that needed to be dealt with in the moment; and dealt with by me. So, after the second interruption, I gave up, and left the praying to the light falling through the window.

How can light pray? Well, if Isaiah can speak of the mountains and hills bursting into songs of praise, then I think I can speak of sunlight praying.

The vocation of light is to illuminate, to shine in darkness. At times, the light falls diffuse through the window; and when it does so, the white-painted walls reflect it back, uniformly. But at other times, it shines with focused intention, and dances across the darkened wall, in patterns of delight. And that, at least it seems to me, is how light prays; how that which is created responds to its Creator.

At times, we find it hard to pray, perhaps due to interruptions, or distractions, or ill-health. Like light, we can still fulfil our vocation—the purpose we were made for—in such times; even if we are unconscious of doing so. At other times, we can articulate prayer, with or without words. To do so is good, and makes a difference to the world, not least in and through the one who prays. But when we can’t, we are not abandoned. Jesus prays for us, the Holy Spirit prays within us—and all creation prays around us, even the light.

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