I thread the glass beads between my tired fingers in my left hand. My right hand holds the pen to paper.
I scratch out prayers in the quiet morning over coffee.
God and I meet best in the early hours, my mind needing awakening and my bones still heavy from sleep. I suppose He’d meet me anytime, but I’m most sincere in the morning.
I’ve never done well with prayer. It’s always been a hurdle to jump, my brick wall in the marathon of faith. Putting me in a group of people who speak whispered prayers makes me uneasy, and I clam up tight and choose to be quiet.
If I speak my prayers, my language changes. I don’t sound like me, I feel weird in my skin.
So, I take to paper. Journal upon journal upon journal…lines filled with etched-in ink, aching cries, soaring gratitude, questions and more questions. It’s a history of my hemming-in, Him drawing near, yet letting me run. The journals remind me of His own pen and ink, writing out the grand stories of life and lives.
I saw her as soon as I walked into the room. Her bright yellow name tag held her name, but I didn’t need to read it to know it was her. I knew that shy smile from the picture I was given when I first chose to sponsor Maria.
We made eye contact. She blushed and smiled a wry smile, one corner of her mouth turned up. Just like I do. The half-smirk. I laughed. Did she know? Did she know that it was me?
Erik had the car running outside in the garage. It was early. 4:00am-kinda-early.
My bags were loaded in the trunk of the hatchback and I quietly slipped back inside the house and made my way to Rowan’s door.
I put my ear against the cold painted wood and listened – I could hear him breathing heavily in his sleep on the other side. I turned the knob slowly and walked in, the hallway light just barely warming the room.
Standing next to the crib, I saw his back rise and fall with each deep breath he took.