The first time I heard the phrase "service is our prayer" I must have been about 16.
I was struck because even though I grew up going to a church pretty regularly, there was never a practice or teaching about how to go about living this life with any kind of foundation in faith or belifs. Many people at our little fellowship were very active in service, and truly did practice their faith in their work, volunteering and activism.
But no one said "hey, this is how you live your faith."
Eventually, I figured it out.
Now, well into solid middle-age-hood, I find that service that involves steamy kitchens, or icy construction sites or especially large pots of potatoes to peel gets me more deeply in touch with my soul than any hymn or prayer or sermon can.
Today I'm headed to the low barrier teen homeless shelter. We're making dinner. I am wearing my favorite work t-shirt and bringing cases of soda from a friend and some outgrown jeans from my sons.
With the piles of dust and dirt on my banged up my soul courtesy of this long and hope-sucking job search, I gotta say I hope that we're making the greasiest, splattering, burned-on mess ever. I can use the prayer.