Every day I practice looking for Him. I have read Brother Lawrence. He taught me to look. And Ann tells me , but how to abide.
Still, I miss Him some days. No matter how I look. Or how I don’t. Some days my heart is a stone and the heaviness weighs down any presence of the Spirit. How can I abide in such cold? Some days, I run from Him, throw angry glares in His direction, stab at His heart with my knife words.
Still, I look. I can’t help it. I know He’s there.
Lord, let me learn the rhythms of presence, which include seasons of absence. Let me not be afraid, but remember that you and I are always together, even when it seems we are apart. (Week 7 prayer, L.L. Barkat, God in the Yard)
Sometimes all that I find is His absence.
The night is a season, not the whole, just a slice. Like shadows that sometimes fall across the lawn, a small and transient space…Night tends to slow us, ground us. In obscurity we can spread ourselves out, open our souls with a posture of renewed expectancy, focus and trust…There in darkness, the Spirit leans in, poised for our lying down and sleep—a seed on a smooth slim stem…(L.L. Barkat, God in the Yard)
I thought my feet were planted flat on the ground.
But when I check–roll around on the balls; spread toes to earth–I sink deeper. I become a seed. I am surrounded by dark. And so I reach, with the center of me; open my heart and rock back and forth until I feel a tiny reaching. Reaching for the light.
And then I grow.
I am a tree planted by streams of Living Water. Roots hold firm, silently extending down–drinking up depths and nourishment, anchoring me here…with Him.
I stretch branches up and rough bark becomes supple, velvet with moss…I invite Him in and feel Him pass through leaves; rustle places long asleep–making music where there is none; creating beauty out of light.
In this quiet I hear His voice. What others intend to empty, He fills.
I am yours.
Soft, like breeze caress the words move over me.
El Roi…You see me. You know my heart.
Eyes close but His never do.
El Shaddai…All sufficient One. You fill.
He washes me–laps up against my soiled heart and carries away the dirt.
Jehovah Rapha…Healer. You tend to deeply wounded places.
I am whole.
It continues on, as I move limbs–bend and sway to His music. Leaves lift, wave in joyous surrender as we dance.
I am more than bark and leaves…heart beats loud within this forest. Blood rushes through me. His Spirit lives in me.
Sap oozes and the sweetness of His love drips from my pores.
He is here beside me; I see Him better with my heart–eyes closed to world, hands held loosely open.
I do not clutch these things tightly…but wrap my life around Him. Vines entwine, whisper into crevices, knotty limbs embrace…
This is the way I grow. I start as seed. Darkness all around.
It makes me miss the light.
This was written in response to week 7 of L.L. Barkat’s God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us. Won’t you join us?