Portraits of Prayer — The Doll

If prayer is simply communicating with the Father, then it doesn’t have to look the same for everybody all the time. I communicate with people in a multitude of ways: facial expressions, text messages, phone calls, in person, and (on rare occasion these days) with a hand-written note. My prayers don’t always include a “Dear God” and an “Amen”. Sometimes there are words. Sometimes I just point. Sometimes I scream. Sometimes I sit in silence and just emote. Sometimes, as a means of intercession, I write parable-esque vignettes of how I would like things to be. The following is one such vignette.

The Doll

She came to Him a mess.  Her hair was knotted, clothes tattered, face streaked with tears, and eyes hollowed by life’s trials and her faulty means of coping.  She came with her head lowered in shame, wanting things to be different but unable to make them so.  Like a doll left on the playground and weathered by the seasons, her original beauty was veiled by the storms she’d endured.

She approached without looking up at Him, dragging her dirty feet in apprehension.  Would He turn her away?  So many others had.

He stooped down to her level, trying to raise her eyes with His gentle gaze and a smile.  She looked away and examined a well-chewed fingernail.  He held out His arms and waited.  He’d been awaiting her arrival since she was born into a sinful creation, loving her as His own and aching for this moment.  He didn’t want to rush her now; He wasn’t in a hurry.  This was the closest she’d come, and He didn’t want to frighten her.

Slowly she shuffled toward Him, focusing on the ground in front of her.  He noticed her hand trembled.  It broke His heart, but He waited.

Finally she was close enough to stand in His shadow.  She didn’t reach for Him, just stood within reach.  With the tenderness of a Father seeing His newborn for the first time, He closed His arms around her tired body.  And He held her.

She didn’t reciprocate the embrace at first.  Tensing, she covered her face with her hands, and buried her head in His shoulder, silently sobbing.  He held her close and smoothed her tangled hair while she cried, watching the tears wash her cheeks.