There are moments in life when we are devastated by it’s destruction and simultaneously awed by its grace.
A month ago, a group of women that I keep in contact with from a retreat started our bi-monthly updates over email. One is recovering from an accident, another discerning a major life commitment, another seeking the next step in life.We are blazing our paths in life, trying to encourage each other and offer support where we can.
From this came an idea I love but never heard it termed as such: wheat prayer. It is offering something up, a small sacrifice, in solidarity for another.
As Sr. Elyse, our leader, so eloquently put it: “Wheat prayer is a prayer of sacrifice. It’s meaning is wrapped in these truths…”Unless a grain of wheat falls upon the ground and dies.” & “No greater love than to give your life…” Plus the practice of dying to one’s self and the ancient Hebrew practice of leaving wheat in the fields after the harvest for the hungry & poor.”
For those familar with the Lenten practice, this is similar. Sr Elyse said, “It helps me be aware of the struggle one is going through and the strength I am praying for them to find in themselves. When I want to give up I make myself go on for whomever I am praying for that time. It is a prayer that keeps me cognizant of someone who is having to die to themselves”.
Amazing. Don’t we wonder sometimes with all the negative things in the world, or just in our circle of friends, how we can help alleviate some pain? How we can be support for a person or family going through something so difficult? This offers some solidarity, some hope.
The following month, I received this email from one of the women in our group. “Hey Kate, I’m well! How was your vacation? I have been doing the wheat prayer since Sr Elyse had mentioned it– I run 5 extra minutes for you every time I take a run. =) “.
Wow. I know that I see running an extra five minutes as torture, and yet, Dannis did it in honor of me. I felt so loved, so supported, so peaceful. Dannis may not be able to go out to dinner with me, or stop by and hang out since we live so far apart, but she can think about me, and be with me without me even knowing! This life may offer us some trials, but it also offers us some amazing supports. This friends, is one of the beauties, one of the graces of life.
As we go off into our weekends, who might we give support to today and in what way?
Thanks to Dannis, my wheat prayer giver!