Today I awakened discouraged and confused. God heard the desperation in my heart and gave me words for a prayer and an image as I walked into the YMCA an hour later to swim laps.
Can you lace my heart with your love God,
So I feel you coming in and out throughout my day
Bringing comfort and strength,
When I am weak and discouraged.
Receiving a prayer AND an image from God reminded me how God does know my needs and responds. I found myself returning to the image, even as I walked down the hall after checking in at the front desk.First I greeted AJ, who was folding towels, with a word of encouragement for his work. I opened the locker room door and saw Jane. We had a long conversation last week about balancing career and motherhood. I admired Jane for working many years, marrying when she was thirty-nine and having children after forty. We chatted for a few moments about how fun her children are now that no one needs a nap.
I planned to swim outside, but when I entered the natatorium I decided to stay inside. The heat and humidity felt stifling during the short walk from my car to the Y. I swam vigorously 52 laps and could have done more, but I was running out of time. I spoke to Linda, who spends two hours in the water every day; to Lucy, the custodian from Egypt who cannot speak English; and to a few people I know casually from going to the Y almost every day.
I left the Y with a smile on my face, confirming the feeling of community I experience. I speak to a lot of people, and though there is no connection other than chatting, I nevertheless left with a smile.
I drove to get my hair cut by Tiffany, who is always sweet and cheerful – I want to be like that, I thought to myself as I sat in the swivel chair and watched clumps of my hair fall from her hands and carpet the floor.
I completed a few errands and met Emily, a recent high school graduate. We started at Starbucks with refreshing drinks, and ended at Half Price Books, where we purchased five books between us. We talked about various religions and the lack of tolerance some people have with differences in perspective and theology. I always enjoy my conversations with Emily, who keeps me current with how 18-year-olds think and the trends they enjoy. Emily left her car at Starbucks, so we made a quick trip back so she could get her car and return home.
I realized how many ways God’s mercy was present in my day despite awakening with less-than-positive feelings, so God, I thank you for lacing my heart with your love, through people I encountered and conversations shared. I did feel you coming in and out throughout my day, bringing comfort and perseverance when I was weak and experiencing discouragement. Amen.
Note: When I receive an image from God, I use the image for meditation, drawing or making the image using various mediums. Later in the evening, using my Exacto knife, I cut hearts from white paper and made narrow slits throughout the middle. Then, I cut very narrow pieces of paper to lace through each slit. Making the image over and over connects me deeper to God like a visual mantra. Here is a picture of the image God gave me.