I’m supposed to be writing about why I am at Trinity. I could say all the normal things: I am a progressive Christian who longs to be in a community of those who believe that when God said to love them all, She meant all. I could say that I was drawn into a church who preached more about love than about sin, that focused on expanding traditional ways of viewing liturgy. I could say that I am a lifelong Episcopalian so this structure feels familiar to me. I could list all the things that make us a progressive, inclusive, and creative downtown church.
Yet, all of that is probably why many of you are at Trinity too (though maybe not the lifelong Episcopalian stuff). They are all good reasons, but not terribly interesting ones to write about in a community that already agrees with these principles.
So, very simply, I’m at Trinity because it is one of the only places that I can be still and know.
For those of you who have been around me for any amount of time, being still is not something that comes easily to me. I am a moving, laughing, fidgeting, anxiety-filled ball of energy most of the time. Prayer has been a challenge for me, a source of shame and guilt because I simply cannot sit still with my thoughts long enough to be still with God. I have tried various programs, prayer journals, churches, and meditations to attempt to improve this area of my life. I have tried to read books about how to pray, trying to intellectualize this problem until I could reason it through and develop a way to be still. Lest you all think this issue is going to have a simple solution at the end of this blog post, it doesn’t. My prayer life, my sitting still with God, continues to be a place that I don’t visit much. Except at Trinity. This liturgy, these people, this building—all of it feels like prayer to me.
I have taken great comfort in a writing by Thomas Merton where he writes in Thoughts in Solitude “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone”.
So, Lord, I believe that my desire to pray does in fact please you, even though I can’t sit still for long. And I thank you for giving me a place that does feel like prayer to me. Amen, amen.
Leah Reed Dailey is a people-person and dog lover. You can normally find her sneaking coffee before coffee hour, singing off-key, and crying during the Eucharist.