What Comes Naturally
by Lori Heine
I set aside some time each day for prayer. In the morning, I start out with Scripture readings and a meditation from a little devotional booklet. In the early evening, I pray the Rosary. At bedtime, I reflect on the day.
Daily prayer is good; it follows Jesus’s own example. But there are times when we feel more prayerful than others. There’s a tendency to feel that, like actors in a play, we must be “on” when we’re with God. Or that, as if we’re entertaining a very special guest, we need to put our best foot forward.
That simply isn’t possible to keep up day in and day out. If we try to do that, we’ll burn out or drift away from our devotions. It’s helpful to remember that God is with us every moment of every day – that “He” sees and hears us, knows our every thought waking and sleeping, and knows what we are going to do, even before we do it or know it ourselves. Putting on a pretty face for God is not only unnecessary, it is based on a false understanding of God.
My favorite place to pray is on my front patio. I’m an “outdoor” person, so I spend a lot of time there. It’s easy to relax there and to simply be with God, Whose presence I feel there very naturally. Now that it’s springtime, two little finches are building their nest in the hundred-year-old orange tree right in front of the patio. It is as if God placed them there for me to watch, to renew my faith in the amazing beauty and consistency of creation.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians are often made to feel that we are unworthy to approach God unless we change somehow, or put on a false front. But we are a part of God’s creation, too. We need do nothing special to come to God. We can settle comfortably on our own patio, watch the birds build a nest, feel the spring breeze on our faces and bask in God’s nearness. God created all of us to live in love, hallowing and blessing it, and calling it – and us – holy.
“It is good,” God proclaimed when creation was complete. As a part of that creation, we need not be afraid to do what, for us, comes naturally. Loving those we’re best able to love should be one of those natural things. Being with our Creator, in loving fellowship, is another. Doing what comes naturally to us, whenever it means trusting in and savoring love, is the holiest thing that we can do.
© 2012 Lori Heine
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