One of the things I like about doodling while I pray is the opportunity to linger with the people I’m praying for. Lingering with people in person who are sick, suffering, or mourning is not always easy for me. I tend to get shy, afraid, and tongue-tied in situations calling for poignant expressions of emotion and sympathy. My strategy for a personal visit is to say hello, give hugs, and leave. My inability to find wise and tender words makes me want to run away.
But spending time with people in prayer and “staying in the prayer” long past when my verbal intercessions run out is something I can do. Praying in color teaches me to just be quiet and experience the presence of God. It also teaches me to let go of my fear, my worry, and my words. Perhaps what I’m learning from the lingering on paper is a way to linger with people in person. Long distance prayer doodling visits may just give me the practice sessions I need to feel more comfortable with being quiet and wordless in the midst of real flesh-and-blood people.