Throughout the month of November, we’ve featured posts that help you grow in your ability to express appreciation. The following is an example from Joyful Journey co-author Sungshim Loppnow’s Immanuel prayer journal.
Good morning Jesus!
I sit with you this morning and enjoy some quietness. In the place of quietness like this, I notice a particular memory coming up to me often. Thus, I take this moment to visit that memory with you. God as you remember that it was two years ago sometime in Spring at the Descanso Garden.
As usual I dropped off Zoe at her preschool and took a walk in the garden. Since it was early, not many were around. On my normal route, I passed by a pink cherry tree. It was in full bloom and so beautiful. Its beauty could not be contained in words. As I continued my way I could not shake off this desire to let the tree know what I am thinking and feeling about her- the tree. So I went back and stood before her and breathed in her beauty one more time and breathed out saying to her, “How could you be so beautiful! You are SO beautiful!”
My body felt light and open! I felt like that her beauty could lift me up in the air. As I was enjoying and mesmerized by the whole experience I had an impression of God, speaking to me, “Oh, Sungshim ah! That is how I see you. You are more beautiful to me than this tree!”
As I remember the sensation I had in my body as you shared how you saw and thought of me I can not help but cry. Remembering this interaction with you, I notice that I can breathe deeply without straining and the burden that I carry becomes light and easy. Is that the life with you that you are talking about Jesus – easy yoke?
Before I go on my day today I pause and remember how you see me today. I feel peace knowing that I would be able to live freely and lightly with you today.
Good morning my child!
I saw you taking a walk with me at the Descanso Garden. I notice your steps were light and brisk. I saw you noticing the beauty of pink cherry tree in bloom and slowed your steps down a bit. I saw you continuing on your way.
I heard you say in your heart,
“That was so beautiful. Actually unusually beautiful! But come on, keep going. Life continues.”
I noticed that you heard my voice, saying, “Come on Sungshim! The beauty is calling you back! It is O.K. to stop and enjoy without always pressing on. Let us go back.”
I heard you say to the tree, “Oh how beautiful you are! How could you be so beautiful!” Afterward, there was silence but everything was held in that space. I notice that you heard me speak to you, “Sungshim ah! You are more beautiful to me than this tree!” Afterward, there was silence again but I knew that you felt whole and complete in that place.
I understand how big this is for you. Sungshim ah! I know how fast you walk. John usually jokes and teases you about you walking ahead when you and the group of people go to places. You tend to be in hurry, moving fast and getting one more thing done. You, your mom and sisters often complained how your dad always did that. Isn’t it funny?
You find yourself efficient and productive, and be proud of it. You tend to draw energy and power to do things from your own strength of knowing how to do a hard work.
That is why it was a big deal and meaningful to you when I invited you to slow down and see where the true power comes from.
I am so glad to be with you, my child! I see your weakness tenderly.
Oh my beautiful child! I am so glad to be with you. I know that you have struggled with this sober reality that the very strength of yours has become your weakness. I see your weakness tenderly. I see you tenderly and lovingly.
I can do something about what you are going through, my child.
Like what you did already this morning, take a moment to slow down and breathe in the promise of my presence with you and breathe out how I see you to wherever you go. You do not need to hurry nor strain. I am with you and always at work to overcome the evil with my GOODNESS.
What does “neurotheology” mean? Dr. Andrew Newberg wrote Principles of Neurotheology and was interviewed by NPR in 2010. He called neurotheology “the relationship between the