Responding to the “findiing my way to prayer” post the other day, my cousin Jamie (Hi, Jamie!) mentioned Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence is one of my favorite mentors on prayer. Anybody who can find God while washing dishes…that’s a faithful guy!
Here’s a paragraph on Brother Lawrence from the prayer book I’m using this year, “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.”
“Brother Lawrence (1611-1691). Born Nicholas Herman in Lorraine, France, Brother Lawrence received little formal education and, as a young man, served briefly in the army. One day, he had an experience that set the course of his life in a new direction. Gazing at a barren tree in winter, Lawrence saw for the first time the majesty of God’s grace and the constancy of God’s providence. He imagined himself like the tree, waiting for the life that God would inevitably bring in season. Shortly after this experience, he became a lay brother in the Carmelite monastery in Paris. There he worked in the kitchen and, in the repetition of his daily chores, found a way to integrate spirituality and work, which he called the ‘practice of the presence of God.’ By learning to perform his daily, mundane tasks for the sake of God, Brother Lawrence turned every moment into an opportunity for prayer.” (101)
Here’s the thing about the “practice of the presence of God”…it takes prayer from church or private devotional time to every single moment of our lives. I don’t have to formulate any fancy words or sit, stand, or kneel in any particular way. All I have to do is open my eyes, mind, heart to God’s presence in the midst of whatever–whatever–I’m doing…
…even blogging! (Hi, God!)
Peace for your journey.
Love your blog! Here’s a great poem by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Already I have shed the leaves of youth,
Stripped by the wind of time down to the truth
Of winter branches. Linear and alone
I stand, a lens for lives beyond my own,
A frame through which another’s fire may glow,
A harp on which another’s passions, blow.
The pattern of my boughs, an open chart
Spread on the sky, to others may impart
Its leafless mysteries that once I prized,
Before bare roots and branches equalized;
Tendrils that tap the rain or twigs the sun
Are all the same; shadow and substance one.
Now that my vulnerable leaves are cast aside,
There’s nothing left to shield, nothing to hide.
Blow through me, Life, pared down at last to bone,
So fragile and so fearless have I grown!