I have a prayer practice that I lead usually at the beginning of the Lenten season, but it feels like we all can use it right now to reconnect to Jesus and pay more attention to where we are…
You will need: A bowl of water, and some sponges of different kinds…
I believe our bodies know that the anniversary of the pandemic lockdown was this past week. I know for people in China and Italy, the pandemic and all it’s trauma started much earlier, but for us in America this past week was a two year anniversary…The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020 but Americans didn’t wake up until the NBA, National Basketball Association, called off all their games on the same day! The president declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020, and most states shut everything down starting on March 15th. I remember that the mayor of Nashville canceled St Patrick’s Day celebrations and many restaurant and bar owners rebelled. Students went on spring break and didn’t come back to school in person for months! We may be feeling extra tired or grumpy this week and not know why but our bodies know that it’s been a very long two years!
Also here in the States, we moved our clocks forward for daylight savings time last weekend and that one hour of CHANGE, always changes my sleep pattern and takes me a week to get over. It’s nice to have more daylight for walking the dog in the evening and it’s nice to know that the first day of spring begins this weekend on March 20th with the hope for warmer days ahead. But how is it already the third Sunday of Lent this coming Sunday? Time is just moving on by even if we are not ready for it.
So what can we do to process some of this?
As you all know I believe strongly in visual and tactile practices. I use “Props to Pray with,” everyday things that we will see again and remind us to pray. I also love to leave these visual reminders out where I will see them again and remember to connect back to Jesus.
Get out your bowl of water, a towel, some sponges of different kinds…
Consider where you are right now with your relationship to yourself and with Jesus
Consider sponges…the kitchen sponge comes in various forms and you might have some in your cupboard or kitchen that are new, and some that are old and worn that you’ll use on messier cleaning projects.
NEW SPONGE: When you open a new sponge it’s clean, springy, fresh and ready to absorb!
A fresh sponge can absorb lots of water and is ready to go to work.
OLD SPONGE: A sponge that sits around for a while gets dried out and brittle…in need of water.
DIRTY SPONGE: Some sponges are just dirty and worn out…used up, spent. Yet these too can still absorb water! Maybe this is how you are feeling these days.
Look at the sponge or sponges that you found.
What kind of sponge represents how you are feeling? Maybe you are more than one depending upon the day.
Are you feeling absorbent or dried out? Fresh or used up? Are you feeling brand new or ready for the bin/trash?
Talk to Jesus about this.
Now look at the bowl of water.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Jesus says that he is the LIVING WATER! Jesus longs to refresh us in his love!
Jesus wants to help us absorb more of his peace, love and joy each day.
What do you need in your life right now? What do you want to absorb more of in the days ahead? More Peace, more Refreshment, More Hope, More Rest, More Compassion, More Love? What else? Talk to Jesus about this.
NOW Take an actual sponge and place it in a bowl of water…
Ask Jesus to help you absorb more of his love today and in the days ahead.
As you put your sponge in the water, whatever kind of sponge you choose, know that Jesus will help you become more absorbent!
Allow your sponge to sit in the Living Water and just absorb it!
Allow yourself to be a sponge as you shower or bathe. Be refreshed in the Living Water of Jesus.
HOLD A SPONGE AND PRAY:
Living Water! Holy God!
We are all spent.
We are all dried out and used up and in need of your help and healing.
Refresh us in your love.
Help us to be sponges of your love so
we can love ourselves and others well.
Living Water restore us again. AMEN
HOMEWORK: If you are using a sponge to clean up…ask Jesus to clean your heart and help you absorb more of his love today. Allow yourself to be a sponge as you shower or bathe. Be refreshed in the Living Water of Jesus.
Lent continues, the season is still full of possibility and promise. Are you finding ashes and desiring beauty? Now available as an online course, this virtual retreat will help you to lay out your garment of lament and put on your garment of praise. Gather your joys and release your grief with Christine Sine and Lilly Lewin! Click here for more info!