November 25, 2006

The divine error of Crossings Book Club

When I was in college, I read A LOT more than I do now. I was a much better person then.

During my sophomore year, I found one of those mail-in cards for Crossings Book Club. It was one of those deals where you get 6 books for $.99 and then you have to buy 4 more within 3 years to fulfill your membership requirements. So, I signed up. The books were certainly cheaper than the bookstore and I got a "stylish book tote" as a free gift. For the record, the person who labeled the tote "stylish" should have been fired.

I wrote my check for $.99 plus shipping and handling and sent it in. 4 - 6 weeks later, I was so excited to get my books! I was about 83% pleased with my order because only 5 of my books were the ones I ordered. The sixth was one I had never even heard of. I didn't know if it was my mistake or theirs but didn't really want to complain . . . the books only cost about 17 cents each.

All of that to say, the incorrect book has become one of my favorites and I have treasured it ever since. The dust jacket is ragged and some of the pages are about to fall out, but I will never get rid of it. I really do feel like the book club error was divine. The book is called "The Complete Book of Christian Prayer." There has never been a time in my life where I have not been able to find a prayer in this book that says what I want to say but couldn't find the words. The prayers are the prayers of people who have experienced all of the things we all experience in life and it's been priceless.

Why am I telling you this? Because tonight I had my weekly dive into the prayer book and found a prayer that I had NEVER noticed before. It's by a women named Rita Snowden. It goes like this:

"O God, it might seem odd to some to pray for someone not yet born - but not to you and not to me. In these nine months of womanly patience, I have learned more than ever to marvel at your creative plans - and our part in them. I rejoice that the fashioning of a baby, and the founding of a family, requires the gifts of body, mind and spirit you have given to each of us. Bless these days of waiting, of preparation, of tender hope.

"Let only things and thoughts that are clean and strong and glad be about us. I give you thanks that from childhood till this experience of maturity, you have made it both beautiful and natural for me to give love and to receive it. In this newest experience, hold us each safe, relaxed and full of eager hope - even as you count each life in your presence, precious."

The Book of Christian Prayer comes through again.

No comments: