During the day when I’m in trouble I look for my Lord. At night my hands are still outstretched and don’t grow numb; my whole being refuses to be comforted. I remember God and I moan. I complain, and my spirit grows tired. - Psalm 77:2-3 (CEB) There are houseplants at my feet, and a jack-o-lantern rolls around somewhere behind me. A guitar bumps into a lamp, out of sight, and its strings twang softly. I can’t find my flip-flops, although I thought I stashed them in the laundry basket under the garbage bag of clean linens. This chaos is the current state of my car. I retreat to the hotel room and contemplate it all with a spoon and an open jar of peanut butter. I am caught in between residences; my lease ended before my next home is available. Anything not in storage is in my car. Every day in the hotel feels like a week. I’ve survived far worse, but this disruption is currently on the receiving end of all my stress. In the morning, I sigh in God’s direction. During the day, my praying-by-pacing does not grow weary. At night, distress rides my shoulders like a demon and I complain to God as I fall asleep. My whole being refuses to be comforted. Maybe your vexation isn’t housing purgatory. Maybe your disruption is the addition of online-at-home school, or the grief of losing hugs and get-togethers. Maybe your distress is the constant storm of racism, or the uncertainty of employment. Maybe it’s all of the above. Maybe pacing and moaning are the best prayers your uncomforted spirit can offer right now. So offer them. Without embarrassment. Without reserve. As long as the day, as deep as the night. Rage and moan and complain. Know that God hears. Prayer Until my heart is tired of pacing and my spirit is weary from worry, hear my prayer, O God. I complain because I remember your goodness, and I believe your comfort will still come.
About the Author Rachel Hackenberg serves on the national staff for the United Church of Christ. She is the author of Writing to God and the co-author of Denial Is My Spiritual Practice, among other titles. Her blog is Faith and Water.