I’ve been playing around with Muddied Prayers for close to three years now. The first contours of what has emerged here were the results of a rather sleepless night. I wanted to write something catchy and still authentically in my voice. An initial attempt to organize a few random thoughts about prayer and encountering God in the ordinary moments dotted the landscape of those few original posts. I soon realized, however, that I was little more than a kindergartner grabbing a rather stubby piece of charcoal and rubbing it all over a new canvas: I was playing with a medium I really did not understand. Before too long, I put the blog back on the shelf and returned to the much more familiar mediums of sideline commentary with friends over food and a good drink and my academic coursework. Great ideas, but all kept relatively close and quite safe.
A second iteration of Muddied Prayers emerged a year later as I prepared to attend the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College. I held to a much narrower focus that time: prayers mingling that broken earthiness of life freshly fertilized by loss with the often tear-filled longing for a flourishing further than I could see. The dozen or so posted prayers reflected my responses to times when God’s apparent absence seemed more accessible than God’s presence. It’s now been more than a year since the last post went out.
As I return to these Muddied Prayers tonight, my desire for authenticity remains, as does a longing for all of life to flourish. I still find that God tends to open my eyes in the most ordinary and unexpected of moments. From that perspective, I imagine that some of the elements that marked the earlier renditions of my blog will continue to find their way into the posts that follow this one. Yet, Muddied Prayers will be a different space this time around, quite simply because I am in a different place. I’ve cleaned out all the old posts and changed the layout. I’ve been told that when company is coming over, especially for the first time, it’s good to tidy things up a bit. It won’t last – trust me. Things will get messy here. I’ve also started to integrate the other places I camp out online with this space. Over time, I imagine it’ll get cluttered with all sorts of useless stuff, but that’s to be expected. Have a look around, stay for a while, and feel free to keep coming back. Welcome to Muddied Prayers.