When I read or hear something that strikes me to my core, I carry it with me. Earlier in the month, I got invited to the launch party for Unscrolled. I bought the book that night and have read each interpretation during the week of its Torah portion. It is a wonderful and creative learning experience. So thank you Reboot for this incredible project.
One of my favorites is the first piece by Josh Radnor. Below are the first 7 lines which I find so deep in truth not just for him, but for so many of us.
Lord, hear my prayer—
1 My mind is filled with falsehoods about You.
2 Today let me rewrite.
3 Give me the courage to delete the rotten first second third and hundredth drafts
4 That deny You,
5 That blame You,
6 That slander You.
7 It is time.
Here is the complete prayer - Josh Radnor's prayer
In meditation this week, we talked about Jacob and Esau, but I found myself mentally wandering back to Jacob's wrestling with G-d/the stranger. I was struck by how connected I was to that moment in the Torah.
I have been challenged in my life and when I found myself on the other side, I was simply grateful that the dark period had ended and the sun was shining again; I was no longer clouded. I only now see that I had been wrestling with the spiritual piece though I was unable to articulate it. I think I have always been connected to G-d in someway and not alway able to put words to the feeling. When real trauma struck me, I was unprepared. Through immersing myself in family, friendship and community, I learned to breath again and walk with purpose. What was most surprising was my need to learn to pray. Whether in English or Hebrew, or old verse or modern, the poetry of messages to G-d have helped me find my way when I feel lost. This need only grows as my learning continues.
Like Jacob, following the wrestling/trauma, I walk away scarred like Jacob's limp. What I love about the metaphor of Jacob's limp, is that he is forced to walk differently, maybe slower, maybe with more focus. I may not have a physical limp, but I am changed by each difficult experience. And with each scar that I carry, I hold onto it to remind me to be grateful and to remember what those moments in my life meant to me.
And as Josh wrote in his prayer, I have a few drafts to write, and somehow I will find the words.