Prayer Wall


My heart expanded two sizes today. For 10 minutes anyway.

I slipped out of Body Pump class early, right after abs but right before ending stretches (which is bad because Stretching is Important…buuuut I skipped out anyway) and as I was hustling down the hall, I saw something on my way OUT that I missed on my way IN.

A Prayer Wall.

Hurricane Harvey destroyed our Lake Houston Family YMCA. And when I say destroyed it, I mean the kind of destruction that takes 18 MONTHS to repair. When they rebuilt, they decided to add some bells and whistles.

Like a Prayer Wall.

My first reaction, when I saw it from my place down the hall was to mumble to myself, “A Prayer Wall. Cool.”

But because a snarky little woman lives in my head (despite repeated efforts to evict her) my NEXT thoughts rambled along something like this:

A prayer wall. Hmmm. What exactly IS a prayer wall? Goodgawd do you suppose this is instead of the little chapel-room? I mean, what exactly are folks supposed to do? Stand there with one hand holding a gym bag and the other hand on the wall while they “think” their prayer? Right there in front of every–

Snarky stopped mid sentence because we were finally close enough to see…

There were notes stuck in the prayer wall. Notes in between the stones.

If you watch the folks going in and out of the YMCA, you’ll see seniors heading in for Seniorcize, water aerobics AND COFFEE, young mothers with babies on their hips and children skipping at their sides, teens and twenty-somethings with hoods up heads down headphones in shuffling in to lift heavy weights or play basketball, instructors with bouncy ponytails or crew cuts calling spirited hellos to their students as they all head in through the big double doors…

All sizes.
All ages. 
All colors. 
All faiths.

And that wall is holding the hopes and prayers of some of them.

I felt a little choked up, looking at the notes in the wall, thinking about the people who put them there, and I wondered what they were praying for, and THAT’s when my heart expanded.

And it occurred to me …
If those cards could move me and Snarky like that,
Imagine how GOD feels.

“Do you want to add one?” a kind woman asked me, smiling in the light-filled way the god-people do.

“Not today,” I said. “But I’ll be back with one next week.”