It is not often that one has a chance to pair the absence of coffee in the can with a curious sleepy ponder about whether there actually is just a little less gravity holding things in place.
So it was this morning at 5:30 when I opened the cupboard and was reminded in one sad sandy shake that I’d forgotten to replenish the grounds of caffeinated morning glory. Ah, well. There was no paper yet either. Well, ah.
Yet, there was the corner of the couch just like usual and the table with a bare spot just big enough for the plunk of two heels. There was also the fleeting peace of being the only one downstairs and engaged in the quotidian personalized rituals of rising wakefulness.
Coffee or not, these moments are precious to me and I was keen to take advantage. I tucked into the corner, put my journal on the next cushion, and closed my eyes.
Whether it was the lack of liquid stimulation or simply the temporal proximity to my former state of being, I quickly entered that embracing in-between-ness of neither completely asleep nor entirely awake.
I love that place. I can’t describe it to you, and in fact, think it is different for everyone, but I know that it is a place where I feel intensely close to God. A space of welcome vulnerability where, as I wrote later, “things can float freely though your mind and heart for an hour—an hour when gravity has a little less hold and things can be examined, removed from an internal pocket and set in front for flipping, spinning, touching, tracing, manipulating, with the aim to come to know and perhaps, though not necessarily, understand.”
This morning, some of those things included shedding some residual from a conversation I’d had recently, concerns about my father, preparations for Rome and things left to be done, upcoming travels, future ministry and living situations…
It is a place of trust and presence and safety. It is a place of desire—a place I desire to be, a place to discover God’s desires, a place where I am desired to be by God. And it is not something I can plan or even where I would choose to go every time I pray. Which is a good thing, because it certainly doesn’t happen every time I pray.
This morning I went one place among many places—many rooms. Some spaces are bare, some are crammed, some are with one cushion, some have stadium seating, some lit with a candle or the stars, some without power.
This house of prayer is a fascination, it is. It is entirely enticing and without end.