Mar 2 2011

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.

Ferry Flyer by SLF

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.


Feb 11 2010

This Moment


Outside my window…brilliant blue sky, bare tree branches, and a large squirrel condo, toasty warm with lint from a dryer vent  stuffed between the twigs.  The three youngins haven’t been out to play yet.

Thinking…as I sit surrounded by yummy books, that the challenge to pay attention and concentrate has little to do with external circumstances.  It is a constant exercise to still my brain in patience and dive deeply, one at a time.

Thankful for…joy in conversations today, a little more peace with memories, and a growing sense of hope.

Praying for…the children of Haiti who have lost their parents.  Lord, bring them into families and communities who will love and care for them.

Creating…my prospectus, still, plus emails and conversations and a couple of day dreams.

Hoping…for 5 more pages written by the end of today.

Going…to plan some events for my birthday year (40 needs more than a day to celebrate).

Reading…lots of books on prayer–Karl Barth, Marjorie Suchocki, Eugene Peterson.

Hearing…the clinking and clanking of the radiators and the whoosh of high winds.

Around the office…it is quiet enough to almost hear the whispering books.

Favorite thing…reading and pondering a beautiful line by Ann Voscamp:

“And they can build monuments and they can make millions and they can write memoirs but this is what lasts, this is what goes on forever and ever and will endure times and winds and all the ages. Heaven and love and Jesus. And there is such a thing as too much money and too much sun and too much of a good thing, but this world has only one thing that there can never be enough of: there is no such thing as too much love. And they may not etch it on memorial stone, but granite erodes and quiet people know it so we get up every day and we make the porridge and wash the underwear and pay the bills and tend to the hurting and we etch the love on the hearts, that which beats on without end and we pulse throughout the universe. There’s a way to do work that lasts forever. Just do everything with love.”

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