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Prayers from the Park Bench

Prayers from the Park Bench

With long, hot days, and endless, starry nights.

With popsicles, fresh fruit, and fireflies.

With sprinklers, days at the pool, and cool breezes on the front porch.

Summer has arrived.
The days stretch out.
The season feels different.
More relaxed. More open. More possibility.
And so with the summer sun I find myself outdoors.
Seated on the park bench.
My daughter barreling down the slide.
Other children coming and going.
Parents resting and talking.
Birds chirping.
Cars passing.
And my prayers rising.
My prayers come with the sounds of children’s delight and refreshing drinks of water.
My prayers come dripping with sunscreen and covered in sweat.
My prayers come with shared smiles and bandaging a scraped knee.
My prayers are endless.
My prayers are deep.
From the park bench I sit and watch.
I encourage the children to play and laugh.
I offer a smile to a fellow parent.
I listen to grandparents share about their days.
I see children make friends seamlessly.
I witness children building their confidence as they climb higher.
All the while, my prayers rising.
I think to myself, is this it? Is this prayer?
Can it be this simple? This beautiful? This life-giving?
The beating of my heart watching the beating hearts of children.
The breeze through the leaves touching us all.
The quick hugs and stolen kisses.
The conversation beginning with simple words, “How are you?”
The peace of simply sitting still.
Yes, this is it. This is prayer.
My thoughts and hopes and dreams rising with the wind.
My love and care and friendship meeting my neighbors.
My eyes focused on the present.
My heart beating.
My body breathing.
Prayers rising from within.
Amen.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an
ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her
website or follow her work on Facebook

 

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