“And looking up to heaven, he sighed …” (Mark 7:34)
When you sigh, your head droops and your focus shifts. Your mind races as you focus within, and you consider your emotions as you try and make sense of the situation. There is a resignation, a passive acceptance. How we might echo the Psalmist as he wrote: “my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away”(Psalm 31:10). Or perhaps we resonate with Job when he laments “for my sighing comes instead of my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water” (Job 3:24).
Jesus, though, when he sighed looked up to heaven. Where we might look down, he looked up. We might turn inwards, he turned outwards. Here is something to imitate, something from which we can learn. Our sighs might lead us further into ourselves, but Jesus looked to the Father. How different would it be if your sighs led your head to lift, and your heart to reach out in prayer? To focus on heaven, and not on earth?
There are many different things which might prompt a person to pray. Some give thanks, others ask for help in danger. Extremes of emotion, or abnormal situations, can cause prayer to form in the mind. Sighing, though, is rather more mundane. Sighs are the small drops which puddle into gloom. Let them also be a prompt for your prayer, and you will discover that sighs soon evaporate in the radiance of God. When you sigh, make sure to look up to heaven.