This is something I wrote back in the summer of 2013 for my online community The Lasting Supper. It’s about how Lisa’s and my relationship went through some strain. After we left the church the difference in our beliefs became more apparent. It was a difficult time learning how to not pressure one another to align with one another theologically, but to align with one another in terms of love, grace, patience, and trust.
Here’s what I wrote:
Yesterday was a lovely day so Lisa and I walked down to the river beach and sat while the waves rippled in. We had a heart to heart talk. She’s feeling sad because she doesn’t know how to pray right now. The old comfortable way no longer suffices. She asked me if I pray or how I pray or what I pray to. She was, like, “Seriously! How do you do it? What do you do? Tell me.”
I never really know how to answer this question. But this is what I stumbled to say, “There are no words. I don’t really pray ‘to’ any other being. I just have this sense of the All in all, and I let my feelings and desires and gratitudes rise up into this All-ness.”
While I said this to her I felt silly. Like I’d backslidden or something. Even in the back of my mind I could hear someone scoffing me, “That’s not prayer, you idiot!” Shame. But I felt safe with Lisa and so I told her what I felt.
We didn’t come to any agreement theologically or practically. We just sat with each other, with tears, each one in our different perspectives and experiences. We reached across the pebble beach to love each other before this wordless river of mystery.