I thank God for long skirts. Long skirts, or sometimes long pants, are my Sunday morning attire. Typically black, but not always.
And I am especially thankful this time of year that long skirts hide the hideous bug bites, spider bites, or whatever these big red blotches are that surround my ankles, settle around my knees, and, well, you get the picture.
But unsightliness is not the worst about these blotches. The worst is that they itch. Ohmygoodness, they itch! And the second worst is that the largest blotch is seeping. Because I scratched. But I digress.
This week I’ll be attending the fifth session of eight of the Two Year Academy for Spiritual Formation. It is held at St. Benedict Center north of Schuyler and is hosted by The Upper Room, the same folks who publish our Upper Room daily devotionals and a whole host of spiritual resources for seeking Christians.
In preparation for the week, I’ve been reading several books. One by Anne Lamott suggests that three simple prayers can get us through our days and help us to move forward. Everything she has learned about prayer boils down to three essential prayers.
She says, “My three prayers are variations on Help, Thanks, Wow. That’s all I ever need, besides the silence, the pain, and the pause sufficient for me to stop, close my eyes, and turn inward.”
These 6-day sessions of Academy spread over the course of two years provide me the silence and the pause for me to go deeper in my relationship with God. Yes, it’s like a class or course, but it’s also like spiritual retreat. To grow in our understanding of God and self. To grow in relationship with trusted companions on the journey with us. To put away the long skirts and be seen and known. Blotches, wounds, and all. And be healed by God’s grace.
Help. Thanks. Wow.
Holy Spirit, power and grace, help us to pause. Show us the way forward. Amen. Grace and peace … --Pastor Pat