I have cobbled together a mug of steaming coffee. The kitchen is prepared to brew 80 cups of regular and 40 of decaf, but I only need one. I've walked into the sanctuary, past the spot where it was decided a year ago now, that no coffee will be allowed in this newly fixed up space.
I am breaking the rules.
Half way back I take a seat. Here I can see the beauty of the simple sanctuary, but not be overwhelmed by it. And then I close my eyes, anyway.
I don't really need to see. I am here to pray.
Earlier this morning, my computer would not connect to the outside world again. I have learned that instead of trying and trying and trying to make it connect, I have to just let it find it's own way, in it's own time. So I organize a classroom, or fill out a report, I do something with things that you can touch. Today I went and made coffee and came back to see, but no, it was still thinking about how to connect. And then I checked my phone, no email, no messages, but ahhhh, the distraction of social network.
Again, a request for prayers from a friend. Her loved one, headed for tests, a long struggle trying to discern what is wrong, the outlook scary and then scarier.
So I am sitting, and praying. Not everyone has an actual sanctuary beneath their office. But I do.
The coffee cools. I am trying and trying to pray. The request was for the wisdom and insight of the doctors to find out what was wrong and what could be done. I am trying to pray by holding a light around the imagined doctors. But my attention wanders. The list of TO DO things, the phone calls, the discussions needed, the many tasks. I am breaking the rules of praying, now. So I drink the rule breaking coffee and I breathe a little.
Try again. I close my eyes. Then I see the hands. I see the hands of my friend holding the hands of her loved one. I see the hands of children and the hands of adults, talking with hands, grasping hands, hands holding tight. And then I see the strong hands of healers. I think they might be doctors. Calloused hands, and soft hands, big ham hands and the slender hands of a delicate artist, art with a scalpel.
I'm breaking the rules again. I am not praying only for my friend and her dear ones. I am praying for my loved one, and praying hard over and over again that the scalpel will be smooth and quick and that all will be well.
I open my eyes, I look at this room and notice how even the pews are, even though I am pretty sure they were placed free hand after the new carpet was laid last year. It's amazing what people can do when they care. When our hearts are involved, people are unstoppable. So I pray again, I pray that the hands of the healers will be guided by their minds and even more so their hearts to care for our loved ones well, to do all that they can to make things better. I pray with light and hope and a little desperation.
And then I go back up to my office, where my computer still won't talk to the outside world, but it's OK, I have a little more crying to do first anyway.