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Rebecca Gallo is trying to put into practice the lessons she learned while walking The Camino. Follow along as she continues her spiritual journey — whatever that might mean.

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December 19th, 2012

The God Box

 
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“What’s this?” I said, picking a book up from my friend Tara’s dresser.

“Oh — my friend gave it to me and Russ for our engagement. I haven’t read it yet though. It’s about a woman whose mother puts her prayers in a box, and the daughter tells about finding the boxes after she dies.”

I turned the book over and read the back cover. Then, I opened it up to read the synopsis on the inside cover. I put the book back on Tara’s dresser and filed away the thought that perhaps I could find time to read it in the next couple days — in between my duties as one of Tara’s bridesmaids.

The next day, with time on my hands before the photographer arrived, I headed out into the Orlando sunshine. I spread myself out on a patch of grass and started to read. I finished the book that day. But it took another month before I started my own God Box.

What is a God Box? Simply put, another way of doing something many of us already do. A friend is going through a difficult time and you say you’ll pray for him. Or a request comes into your e-mail inbox asking for prayers for someone. Usually, I just say a quick prayer right then as I know I’ll forget otherwise.

But what did Mary Lou Quinlan’s mother do? She scribbled her prayer on a piece of paper, dated it, and put it in a box — the God Box. Mary Lou knew about the box. She would overhear her mother talking on the phone to a friend and reassure that friend saying, “I’ll put it in the God Box.” She didn’t know until after her mother’s death, however, that there wasn’t just one God Box — she found many of them around her mother’s house. All filled with scribbled prayers on scraps of paper.

A couple weeks ago, while crying over my fears and worries, I did an excellent job emptying a tissue box. The next day, I looked at it and thought, “This would make the perfect God Box.”

A few days later, the opportunity for my first prayer came into my inbox. A friend updated me on what was going on in his life, and asked for prayers for he and his wife as they were both going through some medical difficulties. I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and scribbled down, “For ____’s eyesight and _____’s upcoming surgery. 11/13/12.” I folded it up and put it in my God Box. Another friend asked for support on Facebook. I wrote some words on the website and then scribbled a prayer for her on a piece of paper and put it in.

Eventually I added a few prayers for myself. Today I added my first prayer of gratitude.

I find my God Box is a concrete way of practicing the “Let go, Let God,” philosophy. I can say I’m leaving it up to God, but there’s something definitive to me about putting pen to paper and putting the worries, fears, anxieties, joys, and expectations in a box — saying, in effect, “I don’t know what to do or where to go with this … so I’m turning it over to you. Thanks.”

Doing so also reminds me of one of my favorite signs. It reads, “Good morning. This is God. I will be handling all of your problems today. I will not need your help. So, have a good day.”

To this I say, “Thanks. And while you’re at it, can you handle all the problems in my God Box?” God, of course, says, “No problem.”


What prayers would you put in a God Box today? Take a look around — empty boxes abound. Find one and start your own God Box.

 
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The Author : Rebecca Gallo
In the spring of 2012, Rebecca Gallo spent six weeks walking the Camino to Santiago. Rebecca writes about putting into practice the lessons she learned on that journey. She's continuing her spiritual journey -- looking for deeper meaning, asking questions of all she's believed before, and finding answers in the people she meets and the experiences she has along the way.
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  • Veronica

    I followed a link to this article…I love the idea of a “God box”! This past spring, for Lent, I got a small glass bowl, like a fishbowl, and used it as a “prayer bowl” for my 2nd grade CCE students. Every week, at the beginning of class, I let the kids take a light purple slip of paper and write down a prayer request. I told them not to sign their names. Before we dismissed class, I would take each slip out, read the request to the class, and then we would pray for those requests. It was a great way to fulfill a Lenten practice.

  • Stacey

    Love this idea, Rebecca. I may pass this along to my daughter as well. She’s a worrier, and I think this would be a comfort to her.

  • disqus_iA45lB0piP

    I am once again inspired by Rebecca to take a new spiritual path. I now have a use for at least one of the Christmas present boxes in the recycle pile. My first prayer is one of gratitude for my creative and courageous friend Rebecca.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sue.laurent Sue McCarthy Laurent

    This is a great idea. And I can think of no better time than Advent to start one myself! Thanks!

  • http://www.healthyspirituality.org Jean Wise

    love this idea. Thanks for sharing it.

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