Thursday, March 24, 2011

For all those who are struggling.....


It took me almost an hour to walk there and I couldn't believe I'd come all that way for nothing.

At first I thought the church was closed. It turns out the large, venerable doors were just stuck and I needed to try them really hard (there's a metaphor for life in that, I think).

Having several hours to kill in between jobs yesterday, I decided to head up north to St. Michael's Church in Old Town.

A statue of St. Michael overlooking the entrance.

Going to the actual church helps strengthen my prayer's focus and intention. When I feel unsure and weak and lost just being there can ground me.

Once inside, I sat near the 12th Station of the Cross....when Jesus dies.

I knelt and prayed and gently cried.

Near the back of the church was a prayer basket. If you fill out a card asking others to pray for your request, you're supposed to take someone else's and include theirs in your own prayers.

The prayer card I picked from the basket read:. "For my dad that he may rest in peace. For my mom that she may regain her faith and happiness."

I prayed for that and many other things.....

To let me love myself because I hate so much about me.

For direction, drive, and determination. For answers. For purpose.

For better opportunities to come my way and that I not lose sight of my dreams. To be courageous, open, and loving. To be GREAT!

And when I ran out of kleenex I knew it was time to go.

But before I left I filled out a prayer card of my own. On it I wrote, "For all those who are struggling."

29 comments:

sweet pea. said...

<3

randuwa said...

I think you'll understand this when I say, "I love you". That you have such a quiet voice in this world is a sin, that I hear it is a miracle.

stanw said...

Dean, after reading this I just had to stop and cry a bit myself. Not necessarily for any note of sadness but for the beautiful experience you had. God heard your prayers and saw your tears, believe me, and even cried with you because He saw His precious child, you. The metaphor you mentioned is sure true, we gotta keep asking, believing that things (as that door) will open for us. "Courageous, open and loving," I think you are already that kind of guy, so proud of you. You're in my prayers and I would appreciate yours as well.

Thank you for outlining your experience here in this post and all that it meant to you. Hugs.

Marty said...

beautiful post, thank you.

The Mother Experiment said...

Beautiful

ilduce said...

Chin up Dean, I'm rooting for you!

Bouncin' Barb said...

Dean that's a really big prayer request since so many people are struggling. 30 years ago I went into a church when I first was pregnant and wanted to be sure I was making the right choice since his father wanted no part of us and did it just like you. Middle of a weekday, no one there. Next thing I get a tap on my shoulder and a nun asked if I donated money since I lit a candle. I was so angry I've never been back. Not knocking you or anyone for going to church. Just telling an experience. I hope you found some solace!! Hugs, Barb

Phoenix said...

You've got to sing like no one's listening, dance like no one's watching, dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die tomorrow, and love like nobody's watching.
When they say love, they don't always mean romantically.
Good luck, Dean.

David Allen Waters said...

you have a big beautiful heart my friend...this brought a tear to my eye.

JuJu said...

Oh Dean. I'm sorry you are feeling so sad. I hope your prayer helped you.

And, I'm sad that you have so much about you that you don't like right now. I imagine you are being especially hard on yourself?

I will pray for you and the others you prayed for while at the church. Sending strength, love and glitter to you. xxx

She Who Shall Not Be Named said...

Aw, that's such a nice thing to put on a prayer card.
"For all those who are struggling."
I love it.

Dean Grey said...

sweet pea!

(^_^)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

randuwa!

So sweet, Randy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stan!

You are in my prayers as well!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marty!

You're quite welcome!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Mother Experiment!

Thank you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ilduce!

Go me!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bouncin' Barb!

That's EXACTLY why I wrote that prayer request, because there are so many people out there who are struggling in one way or another.

I'm sorry your experience with the church was a bad one. I believe it's customary to give a monetary donation when lighting a prayer candle.

Even though it's been many years, perhaps you can go back and give it another try?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Phoenix!

I shall try!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

David Allen Waters!

Thanks, kind sir.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JuJu!

Yep, I'm always too hard on myself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She Who Shall Not Be Named!

I couldn't go to church and just pray for myself, you know? I felt it was important to include others in it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Everyone's thoughtful words are very much appreciated!

-Dean

n.lea. said...

"To let me love myself because I hate so much about me.

For direction, drive, and determination. For answers. For purpose.

For better opportunities to come my way and that I not lose sight of my dreams. To be courageous, open, and loving."

you prayed the prayer I have been praying this week.

I pray that I stop punishing others because I believe I deserve to be punished. I pray also for forgiveness.

Are we connected somehow besides the blogworld?

Zarko said...

Hey man, try Deleuze, Baudrillard and Foucault against anxieties and depression

Mind Of Mine said...

I guess I haven't been paying attention. But I never pictured you as religious.

Suz said...

Followed you here from Rick's blog
-thought I recognized that church
good for you for prying those holy doors open
-suz

Shopgirl said...

I really enjoyed this post. When I visited the churches in Europe, I was usually moved to prayers but it is the same personal pleads.

Yours is so poetic, altruistic and beautiful.

Anna T. said...

What a beautiful post - and aren't we all struggling, in one way or another?

Chelle said...

AMEN

*hug*


Also, I wanted to say, have you ever heard the phrase "God is on time. It may not be Your time but he is On Time" ? Just think about it, and keep your head up. Keep praying for others and don't forget to pray for yourself. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Yes pray for yourself, God is in you. Look for God in everything, then pray for clarity, pray to open your heart and soul to hear the direction you should take, pray for trust.

Dean Grey said...

n.lea.!

Maybe we're related, Nikki, and don't even know it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Zarko!

I'm not one for taking drugs....prescription or otherwise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mind Of Mine!

Ian, I was raised Catholic and still feel I am that today. Maybe not a devout, practicing one but remnants of it are still there.

Also, both my mom and aunt had entered religious life when they were younger so I think that's had an influence on me too.

I've definitely mentioned praying in the past on my blog here, here, and here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Suz!

Glad you found me! You recognized the church? Are you from Chicago as well?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shopgirl!

I think ALL prayers are important no matter who they're from or what they're about.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anna!

Yes we are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chelle!

I will keep that saying in mind!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anonymous!

I shall try looking for God in everything!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All of your kind comments mean a lot!

-Dean

Koral & Nandy said...

Thank you. I am struggling and lately my faith has been unstable...but your post has given me hope... :)

Becca said...

Beautiful post:)

Dean Grey said...

Koral & Nandy!

(((HUGS)))

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Becca!

I appreciate that!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to the pair of you!

-Dean

naturgesetz said...

What beautiful prayers you made!

And what a wonderful prayer card you wrote!

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

What goes around comes around, and you sending out your generosity to those in need will come back to you tenfold. Church is a good place to pray, and also to cry. Sometimes we just need to!

Dean Grey said...

naturgesetz!

I love the idea behind the prayer cards.

It's almost like I have a whole squadron of unknown people praying for what I'm praying for!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kelley!

It felt very safe there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's always nice hearing from you two!

-Dean

Penelope said...

These last few months have been hard for me.. I was reading some "older posts" just to pass time, and saw this one.. and how karmic is it that you wrote this post on my birthday.. it is something I needed to hear, at a time when I really needed to hear it. Thank you Dean. I love you.

Dean Grey said...

Penelope!

I'm sorry to hear you've been having a rough time lately.

Maybe this post was written on your birthday as a sign, letting you know you're not alone in your struggles and that we're all here for each other.

Big (((HUGS))) to you!

-Dean