My Imperfect Prayers

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I suppose I would have to call it a routine. It was predictable. You could set your watch by it. It happened every afternoon this summer. I would come home from the office, drop my bags and Connor would put his shoes on and take my hand. There was no time for me to rest or take care of anything else. It was time for us to go to our local convenience store for a snack. He would even tell me with his iPad, “The Junction. The Junction. The Junction.”

imperfect_prayersWhen you find out you’re going to have a son there are all sorts of things you imagine doing—fishing, camping, watching action movies together. When you find out your child has autism—the kind of autism Connor has—those are stolen from you. Interaction is limited, activities that require concentration are gone and deep conversation is completely lost. And so, instead of fishing or watching movies we would take our daily walks to our local convenience store (The Junction), have a glass of tea and a snack and maybe stop at the park for a quick teeter-totter.

I discovered that it didn’t matter that we couldn’t do the things I wanted to do. All that mattered was I got to spend time with my son doing what he was capable of doing. He was happy to build a routine around me and include me as an important part of his life.

Sometimes I wonder about how God hears my prayers. Do they sound routine as I say the same words over and over again? Does he get tired of the predictability of the time I spend with him? Does he regret that I’m not capable of more interaction or attention?

Or is God’s love for me anything like my love for Connor? Does he so love who I am that any moment we spend together is precious to him—no matter how clumsy the words or how repetitive it seems?

Connor and I would sit for a half hour or so at The Junction, slowly nursing our iced tea and quickly eating our cookies. We would hold hands, hug and tickle each other. We would laugh, smile and occasionally he would just cry. All that really mattered was we did it together.

Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” That’s all, just rest with me. He doesn’t call me to eloquence or to know all the right words, just to know the right place to find my rest.

What’s he saying to you?