Prayer drought

A reflection for the Lenten collection of the Diocese of Ohio. From the day’s readings: “Jesus was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who was mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed.”

Prayer drought

The one who was mute spoke.

The one who had locked away voice, expression, self and soul broke free, broke out; the one who had been oppressed, silenced, sidelined, parched of prayer was released by Jesus back into a new way of being, knowing, and being known by others;

what would that one say first?

Were the words of astonishment, or fear? Did they embarrass, or assault the ear?

How long had it been since words first were learned, then unlearned; the language of love, of community?

Perhaps the first would be a word of prayer: “My God!”

But then, how would you know, at first, that you could? You might not think to try it, after so long silent, after so many failures to speak out.

The first word must almost be an accident, an exclamation aimed at the back of Jesus, walking away, “Wait!”

Wait. Stop. Come back; chasing Jesus with an untried voice and rasping tongue.

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