722 N. 145th St. | Shoreline, WA 98133

Shoulder to Shoulder

Dear friends,

I remember that when my children were teenagers it could be hard to have a conversation. There were two times when good conversations tended to happen. The first was when we could go for a longer drive with just the two of us. I would leave the radio off and wait for a conversation to start. The other time we tended to have good conversations was while washing the dishes. Our first house didn’t have a dishwasher and those 15 to 20 minutes after dinner became very special. What each of these times had in common was that we were together for more than a moment, and we were shoulder to shoulder rather than face to face. Something about that, shoulder to shoulder, was safer and they were more likely to say something personal.

Sometimes our prayer life can be a lot like trying to talk to a teenaged child. It can be hard to get the conversation going. Rote prayers, like the Lord’s prayer, are a fine start, but they are hardly appropriate for many of things we need to talk to God about. You can try praying extemporaneously, just speaking your heart, but you may find that you are a lot like a teenager in that moment. It is just hard to get started. It may feel like you are face to face with authority. Try being shoulder to shoulder.

Go for a walk. Don’t listen to music or a podcast. Just walk. Look at the flowers, the blossoms, the light. Spring is so beautiful in the Northwest. Walk and listen. Share your feelings with God. Thank God for beauty and health. And just walk some more. God loves you, and sometimes it is nice to just hang out together, doing something simple, shoulder to shoulder, allowing a conversation to start.With love,