My dog, Kai and I have a routine as do all families I suppose. I sit on the end of the couch for my breakfast and some warm tea. Then, when I get up to do, well, just about anything, Kai sneaks up onto the couch to take the big warm spot I have left for him by my departure. Kai loves warm spots – couches, sun-drenched floors, fire places.
When I was a child I would often go with my parents to the Laurentian mountains for summer holidays. Swimming in those lakes with their sparkling water (and beach salt-cans ready for the leeches) the sun would drench and warm the lake water, however subterranean streams would flow into the lake with snow-melt and create cold spots and warm spots. I remember trying hard to stay in the warm spots.
We pray in order to enter the warm spots. God waits for us and has great compassion for the cold spots of our lives – and the leeches – silent sins which leave a mark. But prayer, is our work- our showing up for a warm spot so that our warming warms the people with whom we meet that day. Our God, much as I love Her, is shy and very quite sometimes. Understandably. Prayer can seem dull and can even seem ineffectual sometimes. But I believe that the prayers we pray to begin our day warm us and that the warmth we then carry into the world heals it and us, meetings sighs that are too deep for words.
So we pray and we meet God and He shows up and warms us, slowly, sometimes even imperceptibly. We wait on Her showing up and we sit, seeking warmth. And then we get up and get going and do our very best. And yes, we fall, often. But we pray and then do our best and that is enough. And there are plenty of salt-cans around if we have eyes to see them. And the prayers help us to see them.