By Roberta C. Bondi
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Additional resources for A Place to Pray: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer
It was like this," he began. "I was in church with my mother one Sunday morning when I was about ten years old. ' I'd spent the night with a buddy the day before and we'd stayed up late eating junk food and watching television, so I was tired and kind of sick to my stomach. " Steven stopped and cleared his throat, then he went on. "After the preacher finished preaching, he had an altar call; anybody touched that day by his message was supposed to go up and dedicate his life to fulltime Christian ministry.
The holiness I am pointing to can never come from doing or believing the right things, or even from being the right kind of person. Unlike what I thought when I was a teenager, it certainly isn't about being socially acceptable. Rather, in God's profound love and valuing of my life and every other human life, this holy beauty is simply given. Doesn't the very fact of the Incarnation declare God's love of the ordinary as well as the extraordinary parts of our lives? Jesus himself says it: God not only knows and cares about the fall of the smallest bird in the sky; God knows the very number of hairs on our heads and values them.
After the preacher finished preaching, he had an altar call; anybody touched that day by his message was supposed to go up and dedicate his life to fulltime Christian ministry. ' We would keep on singing it, too, until someone came forward and answered God's call. "Well," he went on, "we sang all the verses, then we sang them all over again, and after that he held up his hand and had us stop. "He came halfway down the aisle, glared at us for a while, then spoke again. 'I feel it,' he said, dramatically laying his hand on his heart.
A Place to Pray: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer by Roberta C. Bondi