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Nap time ritual…

March 10, 2008

hey-pancakes.jpgSometimes I get to put our youngest to bed for an afternoon nap.  Hollyn usually wants me to read the same three books.  Going to the Zoo, Hey, Pancakes! and A Bad Case of Stripes.  There is something comforting about this ritual.  We know the narrative, but we are drawn into the familiar rhythm of the words…pictures.  The stories are like old friends.  We laugh together with them.  We relax.  Holly settles down into her bed, snuggles up to her pink blanket, sucks her thumb. 

It is a symbolic ritual that is deeper than the reading of words.  In the same way that eating a homemade meal at table with family or friends is more than taking in protein, starch, vitamins and glucose.  The nap time reading ritual ellicits a sense of rhythm to zoo.jpglife.  Each day is new, but somehow we yearn for the sense that the unfolding story of our lives is connected to a familiar narrative.  In the unpredictable chaos of each day we reach for something to order our lives.  A familiar story. 

Is the desire of a soon to be 4 year-old for the same three books at nap time, the same yearning that draws us to community, to worship, to table.  We need rhythm.  We gather together with the people of God.  We read the same stories year in and year out.  We eat the same meal–bread and wine.  We settle into our selves, we reach out and touch the hand, the life of the person next to stripes.jpgus.  Sometimes we snuggle next to a holy blanket.  We settle into a trance-like peace as we take of the sustanence.  We see pictures and hear words.  Our lives are secure.  We are finding our place in this narrative–this story. 

I am so grateful that as we gather in this way, we are able to find literature like Hello in our church mailboxes.  The March/April edition features Iraq.  What a blessing it is to gather in a worshipping community that also is able to draw in the stories of an iraq.jpgIraqi girl–Wanda Hormouz.  I am so glad that Hollyn also is learning that Iraq is a place where people like Wanda live.  The faces of Iraq are much like our own.  They spend dinars, go to school, raise sheep.  They have dreams.  They want to eat.  They want to work.  They want to live in peace. 

As we lay down for our nap each night, may we see our lives in the stories of these people, in the sacred story of God.  May we see the world as a place that God loves.  May we look for the way God’s story orients us.  May we take our waking as we go. 

Evil is lack of direction and that which is done in it and out of it as the grasping, seizing, exploiting, humiliating, torturing and destroying of what offers itself.  Good is direction and what is done in it…with the whole soul, so that in fact all the vigour and passion with which evil might have been done is included in it.

Martin Buber

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