Embodied Prayer – Farewell

I have been going outside far more this past year, and whenever I can, I do so in the woods. Often, I’m jogging, but even then, I try to pay attention. I stop to gaze and raise my hands up like trees to the sky. One day I spotted something, stopped, and crouched down. To my delight, I saw I toad … breathing. Something happened inside of me. I remembered my own breath, wondered at my own life, gave thanks for this toad body, my body, for breath and beauty.

Seeing and being in nature somehow connects us further with our own bodies and with God. What has it been like for you to pray with the turtle, snow, goats, and floating leaf? Some find nature prompts reconnecting not just to our bodies but the larger body of creation. Nature can awaken us. Look around. What do you see?

What is sputtering and popping in your head? With childlike playfulness and trust, lift the lid with some shakes, deep breaths, thrusting at the air, swinging round, and being still in whatever shapes your body takes. Especially in times of such grief, distance, and weariness, attend to the gift of and wisdom within our bodies. Sleep, savor, and gaze. God gives grace including physically. Play with your prayer. Move for an audience of One, praying your life. Reach up to the clouds, and kneel down to breathe with a toad. Intercede with snow angels. Wrap yourself in a hug, and hear Jesus saying: “I love you.”[i]


[i] This from my “Playing Bodies, Praying Bodies” in SSJE’s Cowley Magazine, Winter 2021



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