I was walking home when Vicki ran up to me. Vicki and I had become acquainted over the last few months because I regularly walked past her hangout in Old Louisville. The intersection was anchored by a Chinese restaurant, a liquor store, a pharmacy and a bus stop and flanked by low-income housing developments. I lived near the downtown church where I served as priest.
Artist-musician Chris Taylor writes that he was driving home one day, with his thoughts spiraling “into stress and sadness.” A truck pulled in front of him with the message “Jesus loves you” written on it. At first he thought, “What a cruel cosmic joke.” His next thought was to pray the Lord’s Prayer. “So I prayed the whole thing, top to bottom. Forgot I even know it . . . how simple and all encompassing it is.” He then produced the prayer in visual form.
The familiar loaf and common cup of the Eucharist are partnered here with a second image of food meant to be shared. The everyday and the sacred rituals around the blessing of food meet in this diptych where the holy becomes everyday and the everyday becomes holy. The meticulous style of Steve Turner’s work has the pacing of a prayer itself. Turner, who directs the food outreach ministry of Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis, says, “Food is a basic need for all of us—whether we have sufficient or are hungry. . . . We give thanks for both our daily provisions and for spiritual nourishment.” Give Us Today Our Daily Bread is oil on canvas with two 12'' x 12'' panels in a shadow box.
We're all perpetually longing for love. Fortunate are those who realize early that another human being can't meet this unrequitable need. Even more fortunate are men and women of prayer who realize that peace comes by embracing the longing itself.
I talk a lot about prayer in my life, and you may talk a good deal about
prayer in yours. But let’s be honest: we’re pretty lousy at praying, at
least in the fullest sense of the term. I don’t mean this as an
indictment of some rich spirituality that is in us. Our prayer lives are
just so far from what they could be.