Guested by God
I simply sit at my desk this morning, in silence, pen in hand, paper ready for whatever words might come. My pinched heart stretches and expands and trusts a little more, to live a little larger, feel a little more deeply, ask more scary questions, hope more strongly in what I believe.
The Spirit’s breath is like a hummingbird by my ear and God’s presence surrounds, the Love that weaves all moments of doing and living together.
But then my heart shrinks back from the Presence which is all that is Love and Joy and Beauty and Truth.
Too vulnerable, I whisper, too intimate.
So away from the moment and the face of God I flee, disconnecting and distracting myself with even the best of gifts and joys.
It is not simply God that I flee, but myself: All that I am, all I wish I wasn’t and all that I long to be reflected in that Face.
And God pursues me, until I stop and turn and be simply Susan. Here. Now.
God names, calls, woos, loves us, to the ends of the earth and the farthest reaches of time, always whispering,
“Yes, I see that, and this, and even that, and I love you. I love you. Always. Keep your eyes on me.“
To welcome God’s presence in this moment means welcoming ourselves as well with God’s own hospitality. No posturing, not hiding, no fleeing, otherwise the hospital-now of graced healing cannot do its work.
Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack’d anything.
“A guest,” I answer’d, “worthy to be here”;
Love said, “You shall be she.”
“I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
“Truth, Lord, but I have marr’d them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat. (George Herbert)
In every moment, we are guested by Love.
And as we are welcomed by Love, and welcome ourselves, welcoming others becomes a way of life.
Love welcomes the weary and angry hearts, the dry and cracked deserts of lost dreams, the icy wastes of bitter memory, the apathetic spirit of nothing-will-change.
Then sweeping God goes to work with her broom and clears and cleans, finding the lost coins of gifts with laughing joy on her lips.
The shepherd God goes searching high and low for the wandering heart, finding it shivering and cold, alone and afraid, Come with me, little one.
The long-loving God runs to us and welcomes us home with a feast to this gift of life, and feeds the famished with his own self.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Come, in this moment, sit and eat.