She must learn again to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.

-- Marge Piercy

Amen and I Love You: How a Dumpster Becomes a SignPost

       It happens at the gym, and in the car, and anywhere else I might be listening to music.  Moments when I look up or around just in time to see the exact lyrics I'm hearing reflected back to me in words on a sign or billboard or screen.  Somehow in that precise moment it seems my brain is receptive to seeing what may have been there all along.  I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, and surer still that there's some fancy name for this phenomenon.        So it was with the "Amen" dumpster.  Only instead of music, there was prayer.

If you've been around Faith Squared for any length of time, this is a familiar photo.  It was taken on September 16, 2011, back when the idea for F2 was just a baby and we were figuring out what we wanted it to be.  I was on the phone with Michele when I pulled into my usual parking space at work (I always like it when #27 is open), and once I got parked we took some time to say a few prayers and set intentions for the day, our typical morning ritual.  But that day was not typical.  I was gearing up for a conversation with my boss, feeling nervous and edgy, really needing some reassurance from God that everything would turn out okay.  I had my eyes closed as we prayed and opened them just as we were saying "Amen" (which most likely sounded like "Aaaaaa-MEN!"). 

       And then...

       "I'm sitting at an angle to it, but I could swear I'm looking at a dumpster in the alley with the word "Amen" spray-painted on it."

       "What?!  Are you serious?? Go take a picture!!"

       Is it possible that the artist painted it while my eyes were closed?  It's a theory, admittedly rather far-fetched. had been there for who knows how long without me noticing.

       After that, I noticed.  It became my touchstone as I pulled into the parking lot every morning, the sight of it immediately reconnecting me to the magic of that moment it first "appeared."

       One day I was inspired to take a photo of the dumpster with garbage piled on top.

       (You'll just have to trust me when I tell you I'm not the kind of person who would arrange garbage to look like an angel.  I can also tell you that the pile of garbage looked nothing like an angel when I took the photo.)

       On another day there was a little more space than usual between the dumpsters, and for the first time I saw what was painted on the side.

       It was truly a SignPost that kept on giving...until March 20, 2012, the day it disappeared.

       I still look for it each morning as I pull into the parking lot and probably always will.  And I hope that where ever it has landed, it's acting as a SignPost for someone else who needs it.

       If you see it, do let us know, okay?


 * * * * * *

       A selection of powerful prayers to start your morning off right (all from Catherine Ponder):

  • This is God’s day, a good day.  I pronounce this day and all of its activities good!
  • My own right and perfect work awaits me this day.
  • The success power of Jesus Christ is in absolute control of this day, producing perfect results here and now.

       And in case you're wondering, the conversation with my boss went swimmingly.  Because God was there and because my boss is awesome (and I'm not just saying that on the off-chance he reads this). :-)


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