I have written a number of times about the Jesus Prayer on my blog. It truly deserves more reflection from me as it has become my crutch...no...make that... my staff for it supported me long before the wounds I have since taken. But the form of prayer it has given birth to is equally important and something I feel called to share on in the days ahead.
But today I am starting with the image and prayer above. It was birthed while I was praying the Jesus Prayer and the cry for mercy which I wrote about recently. As I prayed, there was another longing I began to sense in my soul which needed expression, it needed a word. It came from a totally different breath prayer from a few weeks before: comfort.
Having just done a funeral and spent time with the stories of so many other caregivers, I was worn down. Weary. Maybe even a bit battered as well. Ever been in that place? Maybe from a relationship? A situation at work? A conversation at home? The isolation of family who have excluded you? Yeah, I suspect many have been there in different ways.
The beauty and solace (another rich word) of praying a breath prayer is in the repeating of it. No, not like that of the pharisees that Jesus condemned for you don't do it out on the street corner. You ponder it. Chew it. Savor it. Like hot tea or a coffee or cider. And you do it as many times as you need it. Silently or out loud. In the moment you need it. Mercy.