When the world has folded in and left you stranded in your own home, may you remember that you are not alone. While you are not living as freely as you once did, may you remember that you are held in the earnest circles of prayer, by someone who may not know you, and yet loves you, dear Child of God. May you be free of the harsh filter that would narrow your vision into pain and criticism so that you see in your past a trail of fruit and wonder, God’s goodness as it has unfolded throughout your life. Even now, as you live with loss, may the angels soften your sitting, your resting, your dreaming and open for you the flowers of beautiful thought, reminding you that you have gifts yet to give— kindness, love, and the enduring leaning toward God.
This poem is dedicated to those whom I know and love who are no longer able to leave their house freely and are living within the space of their home. It’s also my prayer for everyone I don’t know who suffers the loneliness and isolation of having an illness or injury that keeps them from participating in the life they once had. May you be blessed.
This poem is for a dear friend who is lying still, and is my prayer for anyone in turmoil over unwanted stillness.
Prayer for Lying Still
If illness calls you to lie still,
may you do so with grace.
If it becomes a permanent requirement
of extended periods of stillness and solitude,
may you accept it with grace.
If your mind in these times
finds no resting place,
know that I have been inside that tornado—
that cyclone in a crypt—
and that I have been there many times,
forced to go there again and again.
So when the cows and eighteen-wheelers fly by,
look for me in the swirling mess,
a mental wayfarer and companion
on this reluctant journey.
Let us lock eyes for an instant,
and when the winds die down,
may we both land with grace.
You are not meant to heal yourself with your thoughts alone.
Let it be that your thoughts and your prayers open up possibilities.
Perhaps one opening might be that you live at once with illness and grace.
Living with illness and grace does not negate or preclude the possibility of recovery.
It simply means to be at peace with where you are today.