COVID Confessions 5–Intercession and Confession

Jun 2, 2020

Intercession: Just about the last thing I see at night and the first thing I see in the morning is the wonderful little nightlight my friend Suzanne made for me. (See below). When we moved to Florida I brought it with me and plugged it into a socket into my mother-in-law’s 1970’s bathroom. When I see it in the morning I always say, “Good Morning, Suzanne, Good Morning, Matisse, Good Morning, God.” (The abstract design reminds me of my favorite artist Henri Matisse’s flower paintings.) Saying those “Good Mornings” has become a ritual. Looking at the light a couple of days ago, I thought the design would make a great template for intercessory prayer. The lilac rectangle/vase represents God, the source from which all life emanates; the colored tissue-paper-looking blossoms are the people for whom I am praying. Below is my nightlight/Matisse inspired intercessory prayer.

By the way, my friend Suzanne has written a wonderful book called Bead by Bead: The Ancient Way of Praying Made New. Beads are a visual and tactile way to pray. You can see my review of her book on amazon or the post I wrote about the book on July 11, 2018. My husband and I both have prayer beads she made. We plan to carry them with us when we finally go to Jerusalem.


Confession: A few days ago my husband and I took two paper grocery bags and walked to the next street over. The street backs up to a large Presbyterian church complex and marks the far edge of the church’s property. It is lined with a four-foot tangle of pin oaks, palmetto scrub, and vines. The untended thicket is a perfect place for people to throw empty beer cans and water bottles from their cars. In fifteen minutes, we had filled both bags–Busch, Coors, Bud Light, Icehouse, and Mike’s Harder Cranberry cans. I have to admit to a certain sense of pride and even self-righteousness about being a good neighbor and citizen. Then I thought, “I won’t tell anyone what we did and that will make it a really selfless act.” Then the voice on the other shoulder jabbed me and said, “Self-righteousness is self-righteousness, sister, whether you say it out loud or keep it in the pride box of your mind.” So I’m saying it out loud because it did feel good to clean up the neighborhood. And it felt right. And in cleaning up and saying it out loud I actually feel less disdain for the people who trashed up the road to begin with. Now when I walk by, I’ll get to enjoy the the green stuff on both sides of the road–the Spanish moss, the elegant oaks, the palmettos, Confederate Jasmine, Angel Trumpet….

Confession: I hope a few people have watched the YouTube video of Jana Riess interviewing me about Praying in Color. The interview covers most of the important things I think about praying in color, explains why it “works” for me, and gives examples of several different ways of praying. It is free to watch through Wednesday. After that, there is a small charge, I think . Click on the poster to watch it.