Doing – Scribble Prayers
Sometimes it is tricky to see the miraculous in the muddle of the everyday. We can use scribble prayers to help us see that God is there, even in the muddle.
You will need:
- Coloured pens
Draw a random, squiggly line on your paper – just let your pencil go on a wander all over the page.
Now sit and look at it for a while. This is a good way to slow down and just ‘be’.
What can you see in the lines? Just like finding shapes in the clouds, you can find shapes in the lines. Outline them with the coloured pens, then use that as a pointer for prayer.
The heart reminds me of God’s love for me, hidden in the muddle. There is a curve that looked to me like a parent and child. I found a sand-timer, too, so I could pray about having enough time for my family.
The teacup could remind me to pray for my Nan (who drinks a lot of tea), or for the church’s coffee morning, or for the lass at my local tea-room.
The mountain might remind me of things I have to do that feel like climbing a mountain. I could talk to God about my ‘mountains’. Or perhaps I could thank God for making beautiful countryside, and think about what I can do to look after it.
There is no right or wrong way to pray, its just a neat way to generate topics, and perhaps find out what’s on our minds.
This was not the first time that Jesus had appeared to the disciples after he rose on Easter Day. And this was not the first time that they thought they were seeing a ghost. Or a gardener. Or a foot-weary traveller.
In fact, the disciple hardly ever recognised Jesus when he showed up. There was never an ‘Oh, hi Jesus. We were expecting you.” It was always more like, “Who the blobbin’ ‘eck is that?” “And how did he get in here? I thought we locked the doors.” “I dunno. Did you invite him?” “Not me, I thought he came with Peter.” “Funny. He looks a bit like … but, no, it can’t be.” “Who?” “What, you mean …?” “Well, why not? He did that thing on the beach, didn’t he? And the thing on the road.” “You’re right. It might be him.” “Yeah, but, it might not.” “You know, I think it is him, but I’m not going to say it.” “If you think it’s him why not say so?” “Well, I don’t want to look an idiot if it’s just a mate of Peter’s, do I?”
And so on.
Sometimes it is tricky to see the miraculous in the muddle of the everyday. You are fishing with your mates – you don’t expect God to being barbecuing on the beach. You are walking along to road, chatting over the latest news – you don’t expect the headline to appear at your side.
It was hard for them, then, and it’s hard for us, now. It might seem they were a bit dim, a little slow on the uptake. They missed hint after hint after hint – and not subtle ones: “The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.” But it’s not like a recipe, where you start off knowing what the end result should be. It’s more like an Agatha Christie story. It all makes sense in the end, once you know ‘whodunnit’. You can look back on the story and see how all the clues pointed to McPherson, the butler (who secretly held a grudge again His Lordship on account of he, McPherson, being the son of His Lordship’s elder (by five minutes) twin brother, cruelly disinherited on account of his marriage to Molly, the poor but fearless … you get the idea). Looking back from the dénouement in the Drawing Room, we can see how it all fitted together. But while we were still reading chapter 3, it was all a hopeless muddle.
It was the same with Jesus’ disciples. We can see, having read the end of the story, that Jesus was talking about his death and resurrection right from the start of his ministry. But for the disciples at the tomb, on the road to Emmaus, in the upper room, it was still a muddle – though not without hope!
You see, that is the glorious power of the resurrection – hope in the muddle.
I don’t know about you, but I find life a bit of a muddle sometimes. Quite a lot of the time. It’s not all nice and neat, but you know what? That’s OK. Because, although I have not got to the end of my story, and it looks like a bit of a muddle from here, I know that my Lord has it all in hand. When I get to the end of the story, I’ll be able to sit with my Lord and go, “Oh, I get it now.”
I don’t suppose the disciples totally got it, even after Jesus explained it to them. These things take a while to sink in, usually. But God is a God who can work even in the muddle of life and, because of Easter, we can be certain that it will all work out in the end.
Hope in the muddle.
Luke 24:36-48 Good News Translation
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
While the two were telling them this, suddenly the Lord himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost. But he said to them, “Why are you alarmed? Why are these doubts coming up in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet, and see that it is I myself. Feel me, and you will know, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see I have.”
He said this and showed them his hands and his feet. They still could not believe, they were so full of joy and wonder; so he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of cooked fish, which he took and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, “These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the prophets, and the Psalms had to come true.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “This is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later, and in his name the message about repentance and the forgiveness of sins must be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
Good News Translation. Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society