Every time I say no to the birthing and dying that is set before me at the table of daily life, I seem to hear the echo of Jesus' words to the woman at the well, “If you but knew the gift of God.....” Whether God weeps at the beauty and potential of our lives at birth or the lost potential of graced moments along the way, I hear that voice urging us to claim our splendor and our glory.” If you but knew the gift of God...”
The gift of God is the Divine Indwelling. It comes quietly into your frailty at baptism. You become a tabernacle of the Source of Life. When you come to understand this old yet forgotten truth, you will know what is meant by the words heaven on earth. This is it! You are beginning to live heaven on earth in the Divine Indwelling. You, frail earth-creature, having given your frailty over to God, have created a place of splendor within the depth of your being, a holy and eternal space where you meet God face to face. Cherish this truth. It is costly grace.
The question I've chosen to ask each day starts with me. "What am I doing..."
God's Kingdom (heaven) comes to earth because of God in us, and part of the answer to the question includes nurturing that mystery in me. The question has to include this reality somehow.
Today I was reading Sojourners magazine, the February 2011 issue. An article by Marie Dennis, called "Toward the Fullness of Life" speaks pretty directly to this. Two quotes from the article placed next to each other illustrate this.
One of the most powerful and disturbing experiences of my life was realizing that I could neither see nor hear the word of God as long as our family's life was isolated from the broken reality that shaped the experience of the majority of people in the world.
In one way or another, we who are trying to catch the rhythm of God's voice and allow it to set the direction of our lives need to create spaces to be present and attentive. The stirrings of the Spirit are often drowned out by our daily routines that are packed with even very good activities. Unless we are still enough to see (really see)) what is going on in our broken world and to our broken earth, we will never have the will or courage to accept a vocation that participates in healing (which is, of course, where vocation---if it is of God---will lead us).
So it is both of these things:
- Get immersed in the brokenness of the world in order to hear God's voice most clearly
- Pull back from the busyness of the world in order to hear God's voice most clearly
For this to happen we need both God (in us), and we need to be invested in the brokenness of the world. I would add that we need a third thing closely related to the first. We also need God (in others). So much of what I have learned and done is a result of interactions like this with my friend and with this writer...my thoughts and their improvements/their thoughts, and my interpretations of how those ring true in my life. It's too easy to get off course alone.