I like the idea of God and I pressing our foreheads together. I lean in, Love leans closer. My eyes gaze down, and the Good Lord’s radiance heats up my head, in a way that makes me tingle all over. I’m delightfully still, not having to move backward or forward, but simply be in that intimate, physically real and imagined, posture of prayer.
Sometimes, when I sit to pray, I close my eyes, and imagine traveling all the way out in the galaxy, to sit airily on one of Saturn’s rings taking in this glorious universe that God has made. I’m small and simultaneously in perfect awe of all that God has brought into being. I take a deep breathe, recognizing that this moment is comprised of eons of love and intention in order to be, and I feel held, and precious in the whole of my life circumstances.
Other times when I sit, I go with a recent experience in life — one where I have felt love and delight in God’s presence. Like this morning, when my 4 year old daughter said: “Mom, let’s play that game where I run by you and you grab me and say, ‘I’m never going to let you go.'” I’m complicit in this ongoing game of ours, and in following her lead, I realize that I may be enacting a similar game or request with God. As I reach out, embrace my wriggling 4 year old, and entertain squeals of delight enveloping her as a precious child, I feel God doing a similar thing with me. “I’m never going to let you go” He whispers, and sounds a lot like me.
My typical “go-to” stance in Centering Prayer is this: laying everything at the feet of Jesus. I show up in my chair, chant the morning Psalm in the best way I know how, and then ask for the grace to sit still for the next twenty minutes. I breathe in and out deeply and am, more often than not, ecstatic to arrive in the chair and not have to solve one thing, make a next decision, or be “perfect” in any way shape or form. I just have to show up. And as I “show up” in my chair, I consciously try to lay down any thought or anxiety or recent drama that manages to worm its way forward in my consciousness. “Here you go, Jesus!” I say in my mind, and imagine literally placing the worry at the toes, heels and ankles of God.
When my good friend Karen and I reflect aloud about our prayer lives and attempts at faithful living, we often giggle. And this phrase and stance: “Put it at the feet of Jesus” is a delightful reminder and invitation to surrender and trust in God’s love and mercy for all aspects of our lives.
As we make our way through this season of holiday prep and gratitude making, I invite you to consider your own prayer life. How are you positioning yourself? Where do you find stillness? What do you imagine Love inviting you to do? What do you want or need to place at the foot of the cross?