I was twelve at the time, and if memory serves me, it was less than a year after my dad's own father had died. I know that my father found a lot of comfort in the memories of quail hunting with his dad, and I don't think it was a coincidence that it was around that time that he decided to take each of his three children on a trip alone, so that we would each have a chance to collect our own personal memories of Dad. It was probably one of the best things he's ever done for his children. Or at least, I know it was among the most important things he's ever done for me.
I believe in the power of undivided attention. It is in such moments that we learn about one another, and it is in these moments that we make our focused, individual love the most clear. Our trip to Alaska renewed my understanding of myself as my father's daughter, not just one of his kids, not just the littlest Wurdeman. I was Abigail, a unique individual loved by my father.
This is why I believe prayer is such an honored and necessary practice, no matter what your religion. Prayer is our opportunity to share undivided attention with God, to turn our focus at last to him, and to realize in this moment of sacred privacy, that He loves us as individuals. In prayer, I understand that I am not one out of several billion children. I am Abigail, His daughter. And I am delirious with delight as the sound of His laughter fills the room.
I belong to You.
I know this best when I am here,
sharing this space and time
with only You,
with exactly You.
I unfold here,
bringing each part of myself forward again
to be seen by Your familiar eyes
and to be held
in Your focused affection.
Please unfold for me, too.
Let me meet You the way You meet me--
with exclusive attention,
with specific love,
with deliberate commitment.
And should I find distraction in a dozen other voices,
I pray You draw me in again,
back to the perfect home of Your presence.