unanswered prayers


my dad was back in the stacks and the snow wasn’t stopping outside.  big, fat snowflakes falling themselves down on the lucky streets of ann arbor, michigan.  i looked over and saw my husband considering yet another collection of words to stick into his brain.

what a beautiful night.



my mother was watching the kids.  my children were tucked in, safe and loved, at her house and i was out with my two all-time favorite men going to see a concert, going out to dinner, looking through old books on a snowy night.

what do i have to complain about?

nothing but beauty for as far as the eye can see.


i used to pray that i could live in a beautiful place.

but when you pray such a prayer you are putting a couple of things out there for debate. first off, i am praying and so it would stand to reason that i believe in a god that can hear me.  so there’s that.  next, i’m suggesting that i know what the word beautiful means.

or that i know what god thinks the word means.

large assumptions indeed and you know what they say about assumptions.



i thought god had answered my prayer.  i really did.  i believed that he had given me a beautiful place to live in, but now i’m not so sure.

“lord, i pray that i could live in a beautiful place.”

these days i’m thinking god hasn’t answered it yet.

because if there is anything to learn from this trip to the bookstore, caught in net of familial love, it’s that there’s always another book to read.

there is another idea out there waiting to be heard.  there’s a new definition, another definition of the word beautiful, better than any that i’ve heard before.  and i’ve seen beauty.  i really have.  could there be better, lord?  yes, i think so.  it’s just starting to be said and maybe i’m getting an ear for it.  maybe that’s a better prayer.

“lord, make me able to understand what is a truly beautiful place.”

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