I have not seen most of them for almost 50 years.
I do not remember some of them.
I have not been to West Chester for 5 years,
And so, I have a little bit of anxiety about this. That is my background to continuing on my prayer retreat. Every day.
This morning I began my time of prayer by spending time with a dream I had last night. It involved me talking to a young actress on a movie set and being dismissed and rejected by her. In the dream I thought: "You don't understand that you will not always be popular." But I still felt hurt.
And so, I recognize that there is anxiety within me about rejection - and it may be a result of past rejections during my formative years. Yes, the challenging years of junior high! Could it be that events of 50 plus years ago still affect me today? Probably.
One of the texts of this morning was a true gift to me: Hosea 11: 1-4
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. 3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. 4I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.
This so speaks to me today. There is a call that God makes upon my life to bring me out of Egypt - that place of bondage. The bondage of fear. The bondage of low self esteem that leads to compulsive and numbing behaviors. The bondage of anxiety. This text reminds me that God is and has been with me forever, God has healed me and that God continues to guide me. Here is the prayer I wrote this morning.
O God Here I am
called out of Egypt
You lead me
not by a whip or punitive word
but by cords of human kindness and bonds of love
You lift me up to your cheeks
You bend down and feed me
O God Here I am
In suspense and faith