by Kendra Thompson
This morning I arose much too early I dressed as quietly as I could stepped out onto the sidewalk of our hotel and began my search for a place to recite morning prayer. I brought my complimentary cup of coffee and a heaving bag of note-books I landed at perhaps the best spot possible – a deck that juts out over the walking path like a levitating patio above mercurial waters. It is here that I sit, have sat, for three quarters of an hour, confessing my sins to the gently lapping waves of a great lake. I exalted the Lord aloud while seagulls soared gracefully through the air and then landed mere feet beside me as if to share in the praise of our Creator. I am very aware that this could all be put to an end. The managers could choose to shoo me away like one of the scavenging birds The owners could insist that these wrought iron chairs overlooking majestic Lake Superior are for paying customers only. They could silence my liturgical incantations, enforcing the understanding that this dining pier is not for religious ceremonies. They could, but they haven’t. And so, I continue to occupy space here, languishing in the hypnotic sunshine of the breakfast hours even as I have set down my prayer books, scribbled favorite phrases from the Psalms and proceed to gaze out at the expansiveness before me a sheet of blue-black mystery and wonder. I suppose I could be afraid, but I am not. For the world is full of cathedrals not enclosed by rafters, stone and brick; doors that open and shut by man’s presumed sovereignty but instead, cathedrals of God’s own design with vaulted porous ceilings – the blue of distance – accompanied by wisps of cloud and in the place of pews, park benches on the precipice of mighty waters. This congregation, I’ve observed, will not keep silence. The woods are filled with the joy of the Lord – the laughter of the trees shakes the branches, quivers tiny leaves and needles of pine alike. And the pesky birds that most the world swats away in irritation at this hour have a stage all their own. In pleasant skies they dive, performing endlessly for a triune audience, Father, Son and Holy Bird. I guess I could quiet my prayers – indeed, I have already closed my book. But I am just one of the devout in this expansive house of worship – a chorus of creatures much larger than my own human frame persists in calling on God’s holy name.
Kendra Thompson is a wife, mother, writer and minister living in Northwest Iowa. Her work has appeared in Spectrum, Body Love for All, Poet’s Choice and These Interesting Times. You can find more of her writing on her blog www.crylaughsnort.wordpress.com