Monday, 26 August 2013

Lisa Wingate Tour

Dear Reader,
This is how The Prayer Box came to be: by accident, if you believe in accidents. I glanced
across the room one day, saw the small prayer box that had been given to me as a gift, and a story
began to spin through my mind. What if that box contained many prayers accumulated over time?
What if there were dozens of boxes? What if they contained the prayers of a lifetime?
What could more fully tell the truth about a person than words written to God in solitude?
Of course, Iola would say those random questions that popped into my mind—and The
Prayer Box story itself—weren’t accidents at all. She would say it was divine providence. Something
that was meant to be.
I believe divine providence has brought this story into your hands, as well. I hope you
enjoyed the journey through Iola’s prayer boxes as much as I did. If the journey is still ahead of
you, I hope that it takes you to far-off places . . . and into inner spaces, as well. More than that, I
hope it will inspire you to think about keeping a prayer box of your own and maybe giving one to
somebody else.
The little prayer box that was given to me was by no means unique. I’d heard of prayer
boxes, and I knew what they were for. They’re either keeping places for favorite Scriptures, or
they’re similar to a prayer journal, only more flexible. Any scrap of paper will do, anywhere, any
time of the day or night. The important part, in a world of fractured thoughts, hurried moments,
and scattershot prayers, is to take the time to think through, to write down, to clarify in your own
mind the things you’re asking for, the things you’re grateful for, the things you’re troubled about,
the hopes you’ve been nurturing.
And then?
Put them in the box and . . .
Let. Them. Go.
That’s what trust is. It’s letting go of the worry. It’s the way of peace and also the way of
God. It’s such a hard road to travel for people like me, who worry. When I’m writing a story, I
control the whole universe. In life . . . not so much. Actually, not at all. Things happen that I
hadn’t anticipated and wouldn’t choose and can’t change. That’s the tough part.
Closing the lid on a prayer box is symbolic of so many things. When we give a prayer over
to God, it’s supposed to be in God’s hands after that. I think that’s what Sister Marguerite was
trying to teach Iola when she gave her that very first prayer box. Life is, so often, beyond our
control, just as it was for that little ten-year-old girl, far from home. I like to imagine that Sister
Marguerite decorated that box herself, prepared it with young Iola in mind, don’t you?
After studying more about prayer boxes and using them myself, I’m surprised we don’t do
this more often. Prayer boxes have a long-standing tradition, both among early Christians and
among Jewish families. Jews and early Christians often wore small leather or carved bone boxes on
the body. These phylacteries or tefillin were a means of keeping Scripture close to the wearer.
Large boxes, called mezuzah cases are still affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes today.
It’s a beautiful tradition, when you think about it, to surround our coming in and going
out with a brush with God. It’s also a reminder, as family members pass by, to pray and to trust
that our prayers are being heard. That’s one of my favorite reasons for keeping a prayer box inside
the home, as well, or for giving one as a gift. When you see the box, you’re reminded that things . Marissa Curnutte . 347-574-3136 . @JKSlitpublicity JKSCommunications
are supposed to go in it. In other words, the prayer box isn’t meant to gather dust; it’s meant to
inspire a habit. That’s the real idea behind making a prayer box attractive—and the reason I think
Iola must have decorated so many of hers. I imagined that, as each year came, she prepared a box
that represented her life at the time, and then she kept the box out where she would see it and be
reminded that her Father was waiting to hear from her.
I wonder if Iola ever gave prayer boxes as gifts, just as that first box was given to her. Maybe
that’s what she did with some of those many glass boxes she purchased from Sandy’s Seashell
Shop. Do you think so? What better way to bind a family, help a friend struggle through an illness,
see a just-married couple start off right, celebrate a tiny new life just born, send a graduate off into
the world, than to give a prayer box and an explanation of what it’s for? The box can be something
you buy premade or something you decorate yourself. If you’re hand-decorating it, why not
personalize it with photos or favorite Scriptures?
Are you inspired to consider spreading the tradition of prayer boxing yet? I hope so. I could
go on and on with ideas and stories here, but that’s another book in itself. If you’d like to learn
more about how to use prayer boxes in your church, your study group, your family, your ministry,
your community, or as gifts, drop by for more information about prayer
boxes, some examples, sample notes to include with prayer box gifts, and ideas for making, using,
and giving them.
My wish for you is that, in this age-old tradition, you and others will find what Tandi
found when she entered Iola’s blue room in her dream. May the glorious light fill you and shine
upon you and draw you ever closer.
We all know who waits inside the light.

Check this out;
 Want to make and share your own Prayer Box? Lisa, did a fab post over on this site detailing all the info for you all...

When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the
struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task
of cleaning out Iola’s rambling Victorian house.
Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding
place within Iola’s walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully
decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola’s youth to her last days. Hidden in
the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper—the hopes and wishes, fears
and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an
extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson
that could change everything for Tandi.

No comments:

Post a Comment