I went to a memorial service on Saturday. It was conducted mainly in Korean, like in the good old days when I was married into the Korean community and attended many a wedding, funeral, party, dinner, christening, ordination, and worship service all in Korean. If you could picture a woman Sunday-dressed and sitting ramrod straight in a packed hall for hours on end, you would understand that it was perfect weather conditions for my Walter Mitty mental wanderings.
This time I did it a little differently, which is an indication, I think, of God's work in me over the last 12 years of widowhood. The Bible says we are God's "workmanship" (Ephesians 2:10), the Greek word here being "poema," and it is nice to see Him writing something new on my heart. I prayed in the car on the way to the event, asking the Lord to pour his Spirit on it. I never would have done that a decade ago. One goes to functions like this jaded and perfunctory, assuming that one knows exactly how the afternoon will go. What a boring way to live. Why not ask the Lord to descend with power?
When I sat at my table and they started praying in Korean, I prayed silently in English rather than just lowering my head and going through motions. And when some man gave a eulogy, I prayed for the woman beside me. And when a pastor delivered a sermon, I just kept praying.
I find that the alternative to praying, for me, is usually unproductive and repetitive and dead-end thinking. And at this stage of life, I don't want even one thought not taken captive to God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).