Good morning. You said to wake you up.
Wha...um, what time is it?
It's six o'clock your time. I let you sleep in. You were having a dream about babies.
Oh, yeah. And my mom was dying again.
Your mom's fine. She says to say hello.
Hi, Mom. I hear Liberace in the background, playing the little song fragment my mother used to play on the piano in the morning when I was a teenager. It was how she signalled me to get up on school days, if I hadn't already. His version was considerably larger than hers, back in the day. But then, he's Liberace.
Yeah, he's just the same -- Oy. Okay? Up and at 'em?
I'm up. Feet on the floor.
You can listen to "Messiah" while you write. And don't forget to put your bread to rise.
I'm on it. I'm good from here, thanks.
Okay. You know where to find me if you need me.
He's right: I do know where to find Him. But I don't always remember to go there. Instead, I struggle along on my own, as if I had no help. I am like little Wyatt, who frequently struggles to lift large objects -- chairs, boxes twice his size -- and carry them unnecessarily around the living room.
Part of my Advent longing is to remember. Remember to look for God. Remember to ask. Remember that asking in a childish way is completely appropriate -- prayer doesn't have to be systematic theology or great literature. It doesn't have to be beautiful or smart. Nobody will see it except you and God.
When you remember to ask, you assume your rightful place in the divine household. We're not the head of the house -- we're the beloved children. All of us, those who learned what "beloved" meant from those who raised us and those whose families were unable to show them that. All of us, high school dropouts and astrophysicists and those among us who happen to be both. Nuns and prostitutes, saints and sinners all -- each of our days can begin with a little song of love, a little exchange of loving words nobody hears but us. You won't ever have to worry about whether you're grateful enough -- the gratitude that fills you when you slip into your place at the table is unmistakeable.
So ask for what you need. Even if you sound silly doing it. And prepare for a conversation -- it will take place in your imagination, which is one of the places where God talks to you.