This is the doodle prayer I prayed for Dad while I was with him in the hospital. You can see that I never did finish it. Or, I guess it is finished, but not how I wanted it to be.
In the hospital, I learned that praying through deep fear and grief is hard. Not hard to cry out to God. Not hard to collapse into whatever cushion of comfort might be separating you from complete breakdown. But hard to pray with intention and presence.
It was hard because I was exhausted. Body and soul exhausted. And moving into and within God’s presence takes energy.
It was hard because I was distracted. I had nothing to do and too much to do all at once. Waiting and talking and watching and pacing. Flipping the white wash cloth draped over my dad’s forehead to the cool side. And again. And again. Disturbed by how hot the terrycloth felt against my palm.
This doodle was the prayer I could offer. Between hosting visitors and holding the straw up to Dad’s lips and calling the nurse and flipping the wash cloth.
I wrote words about my dad. I wrote words about what I wanted–for him and for us. I wrote words of blessing that I use when I anoint people. I wrote scripture. Simple words and phrases that my heart already knew.
I wrote and I colored. Pressing firmly and softly, the back and forth of the pencil was all the prayer I could offer. And as the colors filled the page, I knew that God heard every word and non-word.
Though I desperately wish my dad was still living in this world, I know that he has received the blessing I prayed for him:
May the Creator of life heal your deepest wounds;
May Jesus the Christ grant you healing;
May the Holy Spirit restore you to all wholeness.
So now, may this blessing be upon me, and upon all his family and friends. Amen. And Amen.