Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
There are jewels dangling above the grass. Golden, shimmering in light. I see them when I look up, my hands on the ground, nails filled with wet brown dirt.
I am pulling weeds from tufts of grass. Dandelions are about to sprout, and I pull up the plants by their roots. My daughter knows to not blow any white dandelion puff, as wild and beautiful as it is, anywhere near our front or back yard. I’m kind of crazy about this.
And now I’m bent down, hands in dirt, pulling up unwanted plants from our yard. Tiny clover and tall rye grass and those sneaky dandelion plants that make me mutinous and determined to pull out each and every one. Sunlight blankets my bare neck. And I look up and see green leaves hanging, sparkly magic dangling, love notes against blue sky. These leaves are wanted; I’ve decided they are beautiful, desired. While I pull up these other weeds, unwanted and clever, from my poor little grass patch of yard.
FATHER, WHAT DO YOU DEEM BEAUTIFUL, WORTHY, HOLY? HOW DO WE PRAY TO YOU? HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE THE BEAUTY YOU SEE?
Sisters gather in my front room this week. We sit together, and we ask God what He thinks of us, what He calls us, what words and pictures He sees when He thinks of His daughters. And what my dear friend hears when she listens to His words to me is something new, an invitation to true identity. She says He calls me a certain jewel. And this stone is one of strength, one not easily broken.
I want to believe her. I want to accept the name for me she heard Him say.
And above my head are these leaves shining so bright on delicate and tiny stems, clinging to the branch on which their life depends. Jewels of beauty and light, dancing in the breath of wind. The tree branch swings.
I hear Him whisper, Girl, you have to be all in. I want all of you, you know? And I am this jewel dangling, this tiny leaf wanting to hold on to what is good and true.
I go inside, and I think about talking to God. We each a tiny leaf clinging desperate to the branch of this strong tree.
WE SEEK GOD’S WORDS IN OUR HEART. WE ARE DESPERATE TO HEAR HIM. WE PRAY FOR HIM TO FEEL CLOSE, BRING RESCUE.
God’s presence is the most impactful outcome of any prayer. For at the root of prayer is the desire for connection with our Maker. And sometimes, prayer does not include words.
When I pray, I focus on God’s presence. I visualize Him. Often, He is holding me, reaching for me, letting me kneel before Him or stand near Him. Or I am praising Him with so many sisters (Psalm 150:1-6, John 4:23). And I am in heaven here. I am with Him, and I am here now, both places. Where I am, He is, for His Spirit is in me.
Or, sometimes, I am with Jesus. He grabs my hand and we scamper down a bank and jump into rafts barreling down a river. The water splashes all over, the banks rush, the water high. We laugh, and the ride is crazy, and I am safe. I haven’t asked Him where the river leads. Wake up, girl, wake up.
You know I am awake.
Holy Spirit, come and fill us. Stay close. Awake us to You–our Friend, our Guide, the One who stays close and never leaves (John 15:26). You are the Intercessor, the One who translates for us our deepest desires (Romans 8:26). You know the cry of our hearts–how we long for God, how we have questions we cannot articulate–or even recognize–ourselves.
We are the leaf clinging to Your strength. We are the bright and beautiful, a jewel of light, Your daughters. And we want, more than anything, to believe in the truth that You see.
Oh, beautiful one.
How do you feel about praying–maybe without words–and recognizing the presence of the Holy Spirit in you? How do you feel about God whispering to you the truth of what He sees you? Have you done this? Do you want to? Could you accept what it is He sees?
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com