This space, I find, is tending a little towards Bridge-specific content. That wasn’t the intention when I began writing it some years ago, but that’s ok. Hank Fortener used a term, “dynamic stability,” and it describes our lives, our communities, and this section of the website. We are stable because the God we serve is stable, but we hold the rest loosely, which allows us to adjust, adapt, bend, move, grow and transform. We can change course to follow the path He is calling us to tread. Having said that, it won’t always be Bridge-specific, the point is that it can be.
We began a new opportunity 2 weeks ago, a prayer ministry on Tuesday nights. I didn’t know what to expect. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t given much time, thought or energy to any expectation at all. I just know that every faith community needs a prayer ministry, right? Obviously. I called this the Open Door (with or without the ‘the’), and envisioned it as a room – with an open door to everyone – where anyone could gather and pray. That’s all.
We have a history with prayer meetings, and it’s not a great one. (Maybe that should have encouraged me to give the “time, thought and energy.”) Historically, it hasn’t been a wildly thriving enterprise, usually starting slowly and sadly fading away. Then, we are prompted to try again. I’m certain these promptings continue to come because prayer is an absolutely vital part of a life (individual as well as corporate) of faith. This time, I assure you it won’t fade away. If I’m the only one, I’ll be the only one.
But I’m not. There has been a group, passionate about this sort of expression of love and faith. Here’s what it looks like in practice, so far: We connect, laugh, share stories/burdens/celebrations/etc, write down each other’s prayer needs & requests, follow up on the previous needs & requests, and then turn some music on and sit, kneel, and lay down all over the building and pray however we pray. Prayer looks different for each of us, we all bring different lists (1 that we’ve discussed and another we haven’t, that sits on our heart and shoulders), and we all go to Jesus in our own unique fashion. Then, we pray for a minute together and go home, very grateful for the beautiful opportunity.
When I first communicated the idea for this Open Door, it was immediately clear that I was not the only one receiving prompts. Many of us were also considering some sort of group prayer. One of us was listening to a podcast, where she heard this, from Dr Alexis Gumbs:
“But I think what I remembered while I was writing that, was that all of it is happening at the same time. So we are holding the door open for the energy that needs to come through. And we are the energy coming through. And the door is there open for us. I needed to remember that. And I do think that’s another name for love, the open door, the energy coming through.”
I have no idea where the name “Open Door” came from, it didn’t appear to be particularly inspired, it was just a name (not even a clever one, at that.) Except now it seems that I do know.
Interestingly, how many times have you heard something that fits with something, or everything, that you’re working through right now and it’s in flashing neon? That same thing could have crossed your path a million other times, but this time it would be impossible to miss. I may have heard this exact Gumbs quote before, who knows? This woman who shared it with me might have heard this same podcast, and it didn’t track then. It sure does now. She heard a podcast and our announcement in such short succession that she couldn’t ignore.
We are holding the door open, we are coming through that door, the door is open for us. And another name for the all of this, for us, is love. Of course it is.