I finally admitted to myself that while I prayed constantly, God never answered back. No words came to me. The feelings I experienced were my own. And the events that happened after I prayed had only the meaning I attributed to them.
It was painful. I had poured out my life in service to someone who did not find me worthy of a response.
Friends tried to encourage me, saying that perhaps God is so great that I simply could not understand his communication. I accepted this thought for most of my life. But I came to the conclusion that if God was all powerful, surely he could find a way to get through to me. (BTW, the story of God sending his Son is not direct communication, either).
In one of my final one sided conversations with this unseen, unheard entity, I said “I will continue to care for people and do the things I assume are important to you because they’re important to me, too. If you decide someday to talk to me about that, I’m right here.” As usual, I got no response but I quit expecting one and I went about my work.
I still prayed publicly for the sake of my people. I reflected their thoughts and hopes. And I relied on the liturgies written by others. But my personal outpouring stopped.
God has remained silent, too.
Photo by Sylvia Kirkendoll Mercer