Straw Into Gold

I think talking to God is a deteriorating skill. That is to say, it is entirely unlike riding a bike. Despite the fact that I grew up in a Christian home, despite the fact that I spent the majority of my life praying and communicating with God rather well, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I am woefully out of practice doing so.

This is a thought I never would have considered, prior to The Great Silence. Honestly, I’m still not entirely certain I’m right about this; it seems possible I may have simply made an error in my calculations. However, the facts don’t lie. In fact, they don’t do much of anything but exist, and at this moment, all I can do is examine their existence and draw conclusions.

There was a time, when I could pray like a real motherfucker saint. I had the cadence down, I knew the jargon. I could bust a holy cap in satan’s ass like no one else… But I’d mean it, too. I wasn’t putting on a show or anything, I just had a knack for speaking eloquent prayers on the fly. That was back when communication between God and I was easy and seemed to flow pretty freely.

Then came The Great Silence. For five years I pretty much ignored God, only ever speaking in his direction to spew some form of angry venom. Finally, I’ve managed to claw my way out of that particular pit, and I’m back on what seems to be level ground. And yet, it does not seem that picking up where I left off is an option.

For the first time, I’m finding the physical act of praying to be… hard. Often times, it’s entirely unpleasant. Instead of the lilting verses that used to flow from my tongue in the days of yore, the best I can manage is something that sounds akin to Brian Regan’s hooked on phonics routine.

I used to be angry because God was silent. In return, I’ve become silent, and now there’s a part of me that’s calling out, wanting to speak and to hear. I’ve forgotten the fancy words. I’ve forgotten the aural formulas I used to rely on. I used to be so sure he was listening. My prayers were like reading him poetry, why wouldn’t he listen? But now… Now when I speak to God I have to deliberately silence the part of my mind that actively tells me my words are getting lost in the ether. When I talk to God now, it’s dark. It’s ugly. It’s broken.

But… it’s real. And it seems appropriate because that’s how I feel a lot of times when it comes to God. And… if everything I believe is true, God accepts and even loves my dark, ugly, broken parts. Maybe that means that he loves my dark, ugly, broken prayers? I did a post not long about how God can turn shit sandwiches into meatball subs… Maybe he’s doing the same with my prayers themselves? Maybe what I see as useless straw, God sees as the reagent for spun gold?

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