Monday, July 18, 2022

Dear God

 Dear (?) God (?) ...

Why do I always start my prayers to You like this? If I start talking to anyone else, I never start with "Dear". I mean, like, I'm talking to You... not writing You a letter. 

And "God" ...? Is that Your name? Your title? Is there some other way to address You that would be a better reflection of who You are? Who You are to me? Lord? Lord God? Heavenly Father? Father in Heaven. Abba? Creator? Holy One? Holy God? O Lord, My God?

Am I overthinking this?

Or maybe finally thinking about this?

OK. Will start again.


Hi, God-in-Heaven-Who-Made-and-Knows-Me,

THANK YOU. A million times, thank YOU. Thank you for summers. And sunshine. And All The Green Things. Thank you for all the colours, textures, scents and shapes of flowers. Thank you for technology, the internet, birdsong and croaking frogs in the evenings. THANK YOU for the moon; especially the huge one we got to see this week. I'm grateful for this life, my job, my family, the friends you've introduced me to. 

THANK YOU for churches who love, pastors who preach, musicians who sing and play, members who care, people who give. Thank you for the behind-the-scenes work Your churches are doing around the world for people who are hungry, hurting, alone, scared. I pray You would raise up more and more strong, principled, Jesus-loving, people-loving men and women to lead us. 

THANK YOU for breezes and beaches and skin that tans and elastic bands to keep our hair off our faces. And thank you for elevators and doctors and people who know how to fix cars and people who know how to build condos. I thank You for making some of us to be good teachers, busdrivers, social workers, farmers, project managers, designers, actors, writers, cleaners, landscapers, pedicurists, and sign painters. So glad you're a creative God who delights in our creativity. 

Right this moment, I'm especially grateful for cordless laptops and overcast skies. Ice cubes and Your Bible. And as always, the greatest invention of all times, the standard lined, coil bound notebook. 

(Did You make me weird? I have a super comfy bed inside, but spent the night out here on my lounge chair again. That's the second time I've slept on my deck. I love the fresh air.) 

God? Inventor of Love? (That sounds kinda dumb. But YOU are The One Who is Love...) Could you comfort those who are hurting because of broken (or breaking) relationships? Marriages that have ended, friendships that are over, lovers who don't love anymore ... I pray You would heal the broken-hearted. Hold them close. Give them insight and wisdom. Guide them as they search for new loves, remove from their lives anyone who would cause them to run away from You. Be a match-maker, providing healthy, caring, strong partners to those who're ready to get into a new relationship. I pray Your will be done in the lives of the people I love who are brokenhearted today. 

God? You're there, right? In Ukraine? Protecting Your people? Could you dump a load of wisdom on the leaders in this war? I'm not a war strategist, but it seems to me that Putin needs to be stopped. A fatal heart attack, perhaps? I keep seeing stories of compassion between Ukrainians and hurting Russian soldiers. I pray You would use this war for Your purposes. Comfort the Russian and Ukrainian moms who have sons and husbands who're holding weapons. As soldiers and families and leaders cry out to You, please answer them. Give them courage to do the right thing. May Your will be done in that country. I pray, that when it all ends, Your name will be glorified for the great things You've done.

Also? (Looks like I've got a lot of requests this afternoon; hope this doesn't come across to You like a long shopping list of Things Jane Wants God To Do. Ultimately, I do trust that You are aware of what's heavy on my heart and what I'm going to pester You about. I know You'll prioritize it all, according to Your will.) 

Also, thanks for hoodies and socks. And could You do something for those who're struggling with addictions? People/alcoholics I care about are having a hard time giving up drinking. I pray You would be at work in their lives; giving them hope and strength. Provide them with friends who'll walk alongside, encouraging them when the cravings get out of hand. Give them a solid community (AA, NA, rehab) who support them, educate them, quit with them. May YOU be their 'higher power'. I pray that as they work through the steps they will lean on YOU, pray to You, surrender to You. I pray for their moms who are desperate for their healing. Give them hope. May they sleep in peace, knowing You are on it. God, could You dispatch Your angels to protect them against walking into pubs, clubs, homes, bars where the temptation is greatest. I pray for the meetings they attend. May Your Angels protect those halls, basements, gathering places against evil entering. May those meetings be Holy places of healing, trust, openness and hope. May those who're searching, find You there. 

Ya know who needs alot of divine intervention these days, God? 
Parents. Parents of babies. Of toddlers. Of tweens. Of teens. Parents of adult children. Grandparents. All of us. We need you.

We need Your vision; to see the things we can't see on our own. We need Your discernment to determine if something is evil or just foolish. We need Your patience, Your wisdom, Your compassion. We need to know when to say something, and when to walk away. We need to know which expectations are realistic, and which are fantasy. We need Your healing when we damage the relationships with our kids. We need Your guidance when we're in over our heads. We need Your strength when we're completely depleted. We need to know how to pray for our families. Mostly, we want Your will to be done in the lives of our kids and grandkids. And Your will to be done in our lives too. This is the hardest job, help us. This is the most fun job; thank you for trusting us with Your precious babies. These are Your lambs; You're their Good Shepherd. Please yank them out of prickle bushes when they go astray; bring them back into the fold. Or whatever.

As You know, at work we've been preparing material and resources on the topic of Abuse for our August mailings. WHOA. How do You handle it? Do You not cry all the livelong day at the evil acts we do against each other? Physical, sexual, spiritual, emotional and mental abuse ... so. very. vile. Most of it done by men. To their wives, their children, other children, employees. I threw up recently when I watched a show about a pedophile football coach who raped hundreds of boys on his teams. People I love have been raped and molested and hurt and abused and I'm crying out to You to make it stop. Remove the opportunities, protect the innocent, heal the broken. Why are there so many 'customers' for trafficked girls? Why are there so many men who have no moral compass when it comes to satisfying sick desires. God. We need men to be leaders, to speak up against evil, to protect their children... (if every dad loved his kids and his wife like You had planned in the beginning ... this would end.) Can You outnumber the bad guys with Good Men? Men who'll say "NO MORE. It stops now. This will not continue on my watch." I pray for justice systems to convict the guilty. I pray for non-corrupt police departments who don't turn a blind eye towards organized crime. I pray against grandpas, fathers, uncles, older brothers ... doing unspeakable things to the women and children in their families. MOSTLY I PRAY YOUR WILL BE DONE HERE ON EARTH AS IT IT IN HEAVEN. 

There are people I love who don't know You. Haha, Well, You know this. I remind You about a dozen times a day. (And well, yeah, there are people I don't love/know who don't know You.) I ache for them to hear You call them into a relationship with You and be able to respond. Please don't grow weary of knocking, calling, shouting, whispering their names. Enable them to hear. In Jesus's very powerful and Holy name I pray that the chain binding them to a life without You would be broken. I pray they love You. I pray they would become people of prayer. I pray, again and again and again that Your will be done in their lives. In all our lives. Today and everyday, Forever. Amen and amen. 

PS. The pipe at the lake burst again this weekend and I can't even. Not even a little bit. I am so incapable, so lacking in wisdom. So tired of this. Can You take over? Direct me to The Plumber who can fix it. I'm just sittin here, eating cupcakes like they aren't the worst things in the world for me. Amen.

PS again. It just occurred to me that maybe You allowed the 45 story tower situation and the burst pipes situation (my ongoing thorns-in-my-side since May) to teach me something about asking for help. Getting to know my neighbours. (Did I pray about that? Help with getting to know the people who live around me? Is this an answer to prayer? Because, yeah - I've gotten to know and rely on them alot these past months. Yvonne has been alerting me every time the driveway floods and then offers the use of their bathroom. Steve turns off my water supply every. single. time. And has things like WD-40 on hand when I need it. Mike responds to every text. I've talked to them more in the past 3 months than I have in the past 3 years. 
And to be honest, I don't know if I'd have gotten to know my neighbours at Latimer if it hadn't been for the rezoning application. It was the catalyst that brought us together. 

So. Thank You, I guess? Could You fix my burst pipe now, though?

Three Things I'm Thankful For:

1. Saturday night church service. Jeff was back in town and boy howdy that man can preach. And entertain. But mostly preach. So good. It's not online yet, but it will be soon. Ima gonna listen to him again. And the song everyone was singing when I walked in? A bouncy version of How Great Thou Art. Yup. Absolutely perfect. 
If you don't go to church, you totally should. Find one in your hood, or drive a million miles and come to mine. 

2. A cousin who feeds me as soon as I come through her back door. No one has the gift of hospitality like Val. Glad that I could connect with Vanessa then see my mom for a few hours. Family. Just the best invention ever. 

3. Mangoes. Also Chocolate Bar wrappers. Designs and paper are so lush. 

(I have Mango bubble bath too. In the bathroom. Which is 9 steps away. Too much effort to get it for this photo.)

Thanks for reading. 
Be nice, hold hands, feel your boobs. 

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