(This is the next segment in a book I agreed to read and review, Beauty In The Wreckage: Finding Peace In The Age Of Outrage, by Brandon Andress, scheduled to be released October 9. If you haven’t seen my review of Chapter 1, you can find it HERE; find Chapter 2 HERE; Chapter 3 HERE; Chapter 4 HERE; and Chapter 5 HERE . Watch for the rest of the chapter reviews today. Order your copy starting Oct. 9)
Prayer As Breathing
The analogies that Brandon finds bring both focus and reflection on the part of the reader. Chapter 6 is no except with his imagery of breathing. He uses this analogy of breathing is a unique way that is clearly Brandon’s heart and mind. I know I will not think about my breathing the same way. And again it comes down to recognition–of the presence of The Healer smack dab in the middle of life, and especially our pain and wounds.
And he faithfully stands by a theme repeated many times over. Finding the beauty, experiencing the Shalom, is neither automatic nor is it easy every time. Truthfully, I can agree with him that there are times, moments, circumstances, situation where not only is it a struggle to pray, but it feels impossible. But Brandon guides us away from what I call “formal-King-James-praying-only-in-certain-settings-and-praying-the-same-prayers” to the king of praying that pastor, writer and teacher Maxie Dunman writes about: Prayer As A Life, Not A Separate Function.
At this point, I am going to insert something that struck me with Brandon’s words. It may or may not have been the lesson he wanted to teach, but it struck a chord with me. Shalom doesn’t come to us without an invitation from us. I think our culture, especially religious culture, believes, expects and demands Shalom to just come upon us. Not to say it doesn’t happen that way sometimes–that Shalom just dumps upon us like an unexpected summer rain storm, but when we are in the wreckage, Shalom must be invited to come because, truthfully, most want the pain and the wound. I say this because they cling to it and refuse to offer it up to The Healer.
Brandon reminded me of something that serious bass fishermen/women do called “Catch and Release.” He calls by a different name: Release and Receive. Here is the message for those who go through life holding on the pain and disappointment. It takes more than naming our wound, but releasing it to The Healer and consciously receiving what He offer us: Deep, intimate and faithful communion with us.
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the Glory goes to Him!