Talking To God

As Malcolm Guite points out in The Word in the Wilderness, many have followed the traditional model of prayer to great extreme…

St Paul asks us to pray without ceasing, and some contemplatives have understandably interpreted that as a call to leave the world with its business and distractions and seek long swathes of uninterrupted time devoted to prayer and prayer alone. Others have seen it as a call to have a continual hidden mantra, like the Jesus prayer, wheeling and cycling beneath all we do, providing an undercurrent or ground note of prayer beneath all our daily activities. Both these approaches have their merits and have proved fruitful in the lives of some of the greatest saints, but they are not for everyone.

The featured poem today by Kelly Belmonte causes us to ask “What is prayer?”  The question seems simple enough, but is it only the traditional version that begins with ‘Our Father’ and ends with ‘Amen?’  Many prayers are exactly that, but can they be more?

How I Talk To God

Kelly Belmonte

Coffee in one hand
leaning in to share, listen:
How I talk to God.

“Momma, you’re special.”
Three-year-old touches my cheek.
How God talks to me.

While driving I make
lists: done, do, hope, love, hate, try.
How I talk to God.

Above the highway
hawk: high, alone, free, focused.
How God talks to me.

Rash, impetuous
chatter, followed by silence:
How I talk to God.

First, second, third, fourth
chance to hear, then another:
How God talks to me.

Fetal position
under flannel sheets, weeping
How I talk to God.

Moonlight on pillow
tending to my open wounds
How God talks to me.

Pulling from my heap
of words, the ones that mean yes:
How I talk to God.

Infinite connects
with finite, without words:
How God talks to me.

The communion of our lives with our Creator certainly isn’t limited to our vocabulary.  Scripture teaches that the deepest longings of our heart are effectively communicated by the Holy Spirit with “groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Romans 8:26–28

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Have you experienced the sacred in the ordinary?

John 1: 1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was  with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

 

DIG  DEEPER


Kelly Belmonte

Kelly has been writing poetry for over 30 years and blogging for ten (mostly at allninemuses.wordpress.com). Important poetic influences have included Kobayashi Issa, R.M. Rilke, Marge Piercy, Malcolm Guite, Frank Gaspar, and many other fine poets. Her work has been published in Atlas Poetica, Relief Journal, The Literary Nest, Open: Journal of Arts & Literature, and Ruminate, and included in The Word in the Wilderness (Canterbury Press, 2014) and Love, Remember (Canterbury Press, 2017). She also contributed a chapter on the poetry of C.S. Lewis to Women and C.S. Lewis (2015), a collection of interviews and essays on the theme of Lewis and women in his life and writings. Kelly’s two poetry chapbooks, Three Ways of Searching (2013) and Spare Buttons (2014), are published by Finishing Line Press.

Malcolm Guite

Malcolm Guite is poet-priest and Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge, but he often travels round Great Britain, and to North America, to give lectures, concerts and poetry readings.  For more details of these and other engagements go to his Events Page.

 

Published by

Rick Wilcox

Rick is voraciously interested in the holistic transformation of people individually and in an organizational context - enabled by technology, educated continuously through multi-channel systems and informed by the wisdom of history's greatest thinkers. He is a Ph.D. student at Faulkner University, focusing on the appearance of the Logos in English Literature. He earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Science in Management from Sam Houston State University. His undergraduate studies earned a BA with double majors in Sociology and Theology from Houston Baptist University. Rick is an ordained minister who leads the Parenting Teens Adult Community at Faith Bible Church in The Woodlands Texas.