~the following is part of “Prompted Prose,” a series of posts from the prompts I’m working with during my Spring 2016 online writing course
Instead of responding to today’s prompt topic, I chose to work on a portion of something that I hope to incorporate into a longer piece, and it may come into one of the 1000 word assignments.
Matthew 7:8 “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
I’m seeking. I’m knocking. I’m trying to remember the exact verbiage the camp counselor gave us, when he encouraged us to step out into this night, be alone with ourselves and God, and invite Jesus Christ into our hearts.
He made it sound so good. So simple. That all we had to do was ask, and we’d be privy to the bridge. A direct line of communication to God, and the essence of unconditional love filling our hearts. Jesus was waiting, he said. Available in every moment, but we had to ask.
As I walk in the open field, I can see the white of my Keds in the moonlight. I look up to see millions of stars, a splay of crystals on black velvet. Is He there? Tall mountain pines stand sentry at the edges, housing a few other seekers, whose shadows I see moving slowly about immense trunks. They, too, are finding their place, looking for the spot where they can sit, make their request, touch God.
I stop wandering and wait. Sit down where I am and listen. There is the sound of crickets in the blades. A cabin door shuts in the distance. I search my heart, this doorway he said, was the way in which I could be received, accepted, reborn. I lace my fingers together, feel the wrinkles of my knuckles. Unlace my fingers and trace the knotted string of the friendship bracelet around my wrist. I try to clear my mind of all thought. I ask again, listen, wait. But there is nothing.
I thought I’d hear a voice. Or maybe get some kind of sensation. Butterflies in my stomach, or a presence, very clear, inside my chest. I only smell pinecones on the summer breeze that floats across the lawn. See the outline of tree branches bounce with the moving air.
When I go back to the group tomorrow I will accept the invitation. Raise my hand and step forward from my metal, folding chair. Yes, I have asked Jesus into my life, and I will be his follower. I will make this claim, believing. Hoping. Never wanting to ask if I was the only one who didn’t feel Him. Unable to face the fear that, perhaps, there is something intrinsically wrong with me. Too afraid to question why God didn’t come, even when I asked.