I sat at one end of the chapel bench and Howard sat at the other with our children in between. We were singing the opening hymn, all of us with books open in our laps. The requirement that the kids sing along for the opening hymn was a new one for our family, but through it the kids are learning that music can bring a special spirit to us. The song concluded and the heads of three kids bent back over their drawings. Supposedly they were also listening while they drew. I’m sure Kiki listened. Gleek listened sometimes. Patch listened if the speaker was telling an interesting story. Link did not draw. He sat quietly, which did not guarantee that he was listening. Whether or not they were paying attention, we were all there together for the first time in weeks. I look down the row at them, I can see the contentment in their bodies. Church is a good place for all of us and we are glad to be there together.
I closed my eyes and asked the same silent question I ask every week. It is a prayer of sorts, almost wordless as I reach out. It comprises several things from “any messages for me?” to “What should I be focused on this week?” to “What next?” or even occasionally a petulant “what now?” I don’t remember how long it has been that I’ve been making this overt weekly request. I think it began last year when I was pounded with unexpected inspiration several weeks in a row. I finally figured it might be better to just ask instead of waiting to be shouted at. I ask, and answers always come. It is a little frightening this receiving of answers. Sometimes I want to wrap myself in a little cloak of sameness. I don’t always want answers which may ask me to change or do some other difficult thing. But lately I have been glad of the answers, they help me set a path for the week to follow. I can’t see much beyond a week right now. However if I can get the week aimed right on Sunday, I can follow through long enough to get me to the next Sunday when I can adjust, change, or continue.
So I sat with my eyes closed and asked “What new thing shall I undertake this week? What am I to do with my time and energy?” Sometimes the answers are loud and clear, almost like being spoken to. Other times it is like I have to sort them from my own thoughts and it takes most of the meeting. Today the answer was so quiet I almost missed it, rather like a hand waving gesture which indicates “carry on.” I opened my eyes and looked down the row of my people. We’ve set a good course and it is time for us to do some calm sailing.