Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Physical Stuff

Last year, I took a box of ours and wrote "Dreams" across the top.  I told Sara about the box and set it atop our bookshelf.  Over the months, I forgot to put anything in it.  However, Sara didn't forget.  She put a solo desire into our Dream Box.  It simply stated, "To carry our child."  Low and behold, the only dream that ever got into that box came true!  What a blessing.
Almost a year later, here in Seattle, I was at the dollar store and found three, tall boxes just waiting to become new dream boxes for our family.  We keep these three boxes on a shelf in the corner of our bedroom.  The themes have increased to "Laments", "Ebeneezers", and "Dreams & Desires".
Laments are for when we want to cry out and just say, "Where is the justice?" or "What is wrong?  Why isn't anything being done about this?" or "I am so sad.  I don't know if I can make it any longer."  Ebeneezers are for faithfulness.  Notes of these sort remind us of the faithfulness that has been extended to us in the past.  Thousands of years ago, the Israelites would create a large pile of rocks to mark a place where they had seen God's faithfulness.  Thus, in this box, we place our "Ebeneezers" to help us remember where things came together that maybe we didn't think were going to come together.  Finally, the last box contain our continued Dreams and Desires.
Integrating the physical stuff into our dreams and prayers can help us to have more of an emotional connection to God and ourselves.  Catholics often go to the church or cathedral to light candles.  Some people paint or draw their dreams, desires, ebeneezers, and laments.  There is something that brings about an emotional connection when we add the physical stuff to our prayers.
This sort of thing can be a way to help spouses and even children connect with each other too in the process.  We can share with each other what we are putting in a prayer box at the dinner table and offer a short prayer or affirmation.  We can draw pictures of our desires and put them into the boxes.  Of course, there are all sorts of other ways to add the physical stuff to our prayers and our relationships, but this is one way to do so.