Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Though God's absence is a common experience for most Christians, it is always fresh and frightening for those in the throes of it. Mother Theresa prayed to truly enter into Christ's passion on the cross and spent the next 50 years feeling God's abandonment. For most of us, God's kindness is that we feel His presence more than not. For me personally, though, it is more often the depth of the emptiness that assures me that I was made for filling. Today, well, for months now actually, Jesus is asleep on the cushion in the back of my boat. It is a gift to sail alone - with Him nearby - though I would like some conversation. It is a great disciplining to pray to a empty ceiling, to pray to a God with flat affect. It is important for me to pray though, learning again that I don't require His feedback to believe that He hears. It is a comfort to pray knowing that He doesn't require my affect or gyrations or goosebumps or heavy heart or goo-ness for Him to be moved. It is nice to be a part of the swell when worship explodes with such inward force that expression just happens. It is nice to be able to surf down the face of that wave, exhilarated and free with a power behind you that is huge and scary and so amazing that you go after it again and again. The bigger those incredible waves, the sadder it is when swells still. When you just sit there. And sit there. And sit there. Doldrums. The ocean is still just as deep. The water is still water. There is still surf somewhere. But it is hard to keep believing that swells will come again...here. It is disheartening to look toward the horizon and see calm. Time to swim, I guess. And hope.
Posted by Walt at St. John's Parish at 12:33 PM