Daily Bread September 23

Embodied Prayer
Sheila Kunzweiler of Dayton, OH, USA

“But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
  we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

My morning meditation involved imagining what the day before me might look like before even getting out of bed. It was shaping up to be a beautiful day, so I threw on some hiking clothes, grabbed the dog, and headed for the woods. As we began our hike, I felt like the woods were electric and vibrant. “It feels like a deer day,” I whispered. No sooner had those words fallen from my lips, I turned to my right, and my eyes fell upon a doe in the bushes staring at me. I stood in silent awe of the gift before me, and then thanked her for the opportunity to share in that moment with her.

We moved on hiking through a wooded trail that would eventually lead to the creek. We began to approach the water, me thanking God for the gift of the deer, when I heard a thrashing in the woods to my right. There another deer was before me. She bounded away in slow motion it seemed, as if to show off her agility and beautiful white tail. Wow, God! Two in one day! Dylan got his drink from the creek, and we moved on.

I came upon a turn to the right that led to a pond in the clearing. I decided not to leave the shade, but as I turned to the side I saw yet another deer, chewing and eyeing me intently. It provided another opportunity for me to stand still and gaze at the beauty before me. What an extravagant God to shower me with these three gifts. I was reminded of the Trinity blessing my life.

I have been studying the body’s role in spiritual practices. In my meditation that morning, I had envisioned being a part of God’s glorious creation. My body played a major role in this coming to pass. My prayers became embodied on my walk, and I witnessed with my eyes the three deer. I was richly blessed for taking time to feed both body and spirit.

Prayer Phrase

Help us see beyond our dark places and find our way closer to your loving light.

Spiritual Practice

Healing for Broken Spirits

Begin with quiet prayer. Ask God to help you detect some “sore places” in the body of Christ and God’s creation. Become aware of people who feel separated, wounded, or left out. Reflect on or write a short journal entry of healing words to at least one person who comes to mind. Ask God for words that will touch this person’s broken spirit like healing ointment. Keep this person in your heart and prayers today and act on any ideas that come to bring blessing and wholeness.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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