I should subtitle this post "The Week That Should Have Sucked, But Didn't."
My mother's trip to the neurologist to check out hand numbness following her wrist fracture didn't result in the sort of conclusive diagnosis and course of treatment we were hoping for...leaving her frustrated and impatient.
I found out that the Bush administration is proposing cuts in social programs for the next fiscal year that could well make my job redundant by October. And in the meantime I am going to have to spend more of my work time fundraising, just to add an extra unpleasant dimension to my walk down the plank.
Every time I listen to or read the news, the litany of geopolitical mess is like another punch in the gut. "How long, o Lord, how long?"
I watched, with the rest of the world, two slow, sad, complicated public deaths.
I continued to put up with a couple of relatively silly but persistent internal melodramas that tend to generate low-grade verklemptitude in my life.
Despite all of this, I'm -- how can I put this? -- happy. Today the old Shaker hymn, "How Can I Keep From Singing?" kept running through my mind. I was even singing the liturgy, which we don't actually do much of in our church, in the car today, on the way to Sunday dinner: Word of Life, Jesus Christ, all glory to you...our hearts burn within us while you open to us the Scriptures...Word of Life, Jesus Christ, all praise to you. (My mother giving me a quizzical look suggesting, "How much wine did you drink this morning?..." Or maybe, "Turn up Ira Glass before you break a window.")
Maybe this is sort of a delayed reaction to Easter...I tend to be slow on the uptake anyway. But I think it was also part of our Gospel text this morning: The risen Jesus visiting the frightened disciples and telling them, not once but twice, "Peace be with you." Now, The CEO and I generally have a droll, ironic sort of relationship (which, I'm learning, is entirely consistent with the inherent irony and playfulness of the Torah texts...so I'm really not just making this stuff up)...but every once in awhile, when I really need to be remedially brothered, he shows up and does that for me. (The CEO also notes that at other times I need to be remedially bothered, and he's quite happy to do that for me too.) I've felt very brothered today. That's been a gift.
All of which brings me to the title of my post. I never used to pay a great deal of attention to prayer posture, but I am finding that there are times when the orans position, hands raised, is the way I want to do it. (Even though any time now I expect the ELCA to come and pull my union card.) Tonight's one of those times. It's been a good day, one filled with the peace that passeth understanding.
Let my prayer rise before you as incense;
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.