I read “God in the Yard” by l. l. barkat.  I move through the pages at a slow, sporadic pace, doing the exercises, learning to play and be a child once again, with God, no less.  I am in the third week, page 27.  One exercise is called “Unstring”.  She says, “Picture certain issues/emotions/elements of your personal psychology to be like a cord that binds you.  Can you feel them cutting in?  Do you wish the ties could be loosened?  As a kind of prayer, invite the Spirit to begin unwinding the invisible cords; to feel the hope of this, act out unwinding with your body.  If you prefer, draw a picture of yourself and what binds you, then draw a series of pictures that illustrate the ties coming undone.”

So I did that.  It looked something like this: 

On my own drawing, I had words on the lines such as:


too easily crushed
need to control situations

emotionally hurt by words
caregiving for 13 years



I asked the Holy Spirit to unwind the tight cords that bind me, those old tapes in my head that take away my freedom to twirl in the wind, to breathe deeply.  Much lies behind the words, behind that tight cord.  How can I play when the seriousness of life is weighing me down?

Mom was angry last night.  I am grateful that this mood is not often, but when it is there, I struggle.  I do not like anger, rarely being angry myself.  Mom uses some foul language when she is angry.  Oh, how that runs like fingernails on the chalkboard with me, with my ways.  I leave my visit and I am down, worn out, in no mood to play.  I allow this dementia-caused anger to tie me up in a knot.  There is nothing, NOTHING, I can do about it, nor can she.  So why am I taking it on myself, I ask?

From the spiral drawing right column, you can see the things that are eating me from inside my own self.  The old tapes play.  I put my hands over my ears so I don’t have to hear any of this.  But it doesn’t help because it’s coming from inside.

God, You made me and I know You did not make me with this negative self-debasing talk inside.  I have allowed this world to convince me that I am less than how You made me.
God, can we just sit today in the big rocker on the porch?  Can we rock together, me close to You?  Can we be still?  Quiet?  Can I just be enveloped by Your selfless love, shielded by Your strength, caressed by Your compassion?  Can I, Abba Father?  I would like that because I really just want to be with You, to know Your Presence.  You are my All in all, the Abba Daddy I need and have needed since I was twelve when I lost my earthly Daddy to cancer.  You held me then and I need You to hold me now.  
One rocker, that’s all we need, Abba Father.  Just one.  It feels so good to sit beside You with my head on Your chest.  I hear Your heartbeat.  Oh, it’s mine?  My heart is Your heart, isn’t it?  We are united because You sacrificed Your Son for one such as me.  I am Your child and I am glad, and thankful too.  Oh, Abba, You truly do unwind that tight cord from these self-inflicted burdens, the self-destroying talk.  As You loosen the cord with care, You set me free, little by little.  I begin to feel like a child who can play again.  I begin to feel freed from these ties that bind.  You are my Abba Father.  I am Your child who is filled with the joy and the peace that only You can bring. 
Con todo mi corazón, Le agradezco, padre de Abba,
 Your Daughter

Quote from l. l. barkat’s book, “God in the Yard, Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us”, 2010

Picture/Drawing: “squiggle1.gif” @ www2.asd.wednet.edu
Photo of Rocking Chair: “Rocking Chair 2”  AttributionNoncommercial
Some rights reserved by CMMahon, 12/07/2006, Christina M. Mahon, flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmahon/

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