Winter Morning Prayer
by Rob Grogan
It is my kind of winter morning except the snow could be heavier. But, we are in Virginia where I’ve come to appreciate even the dustings that come few and far between. I have prayed for snow and nothing could fill my heart with more joy than a bona fide White Christmas, where the snow begins during the day of the 24th and continues throughout the night and well into the morning of the 25th.
Stepping up to a full-length window in the radiant-heat room, a cold draft makes me shiver. The breeze outside sways the bamboo and howls through the mail slot of the old English cottage door. These symbols of good fortune do not go unnoticed by me — my feet and body warm to the radiant heat rising from the floor; the view of the raw outdoors instills in me a feeling of freedom, well-being, and a duty to make use of my comfort to contribute some good.
Pondering that, I begin a winter morning prayer for the homeless — those bodies, minds, and souls adrift in the great outdoors, unencumbered by societal expectations but void of the happiness that accompanies a balanced dose of society’s values; people just like you and me, but whose lives broke or changed by a twist of fate in a life’s passage, or by some mean traumatic event — real, or imagined by a sickly brain that altered their perception.
They talk and walk alone, in fear of loneliness or in wanting to be alone to figure it all out – what went wrong?, they ask themselves – or, after a sufficient chunk of memory-fading time has elapsed, they don’t bother to ask because it no longer matters and they can’t even recall what went wrong, when, or what it was like before then. They are now present-and-accounted-for homeless… on a winter morning, the kind that I like so well.
The clouds buffer the light of day as the snow falls, the wind screams, and the temperature dives. I pray for these people while I am warm and fed and they are cold and hungry – why? and what can be done? I ask, and I pray for you, my homeless friends, that life takes another twist – this time on your behalf, not your detriment. I can’t complain of my illness because I have care and support and hope. But you, you have ache and despair and a lost way, a shoddy path that you live on this winter morning – the kind that I like so well and is not to your liking.
I will pray for you and a change of weather.