Saturday, July 25, 2009

A glass wall

In the interest of transparency, here's my confession:
It (still) feels like there's some sort of wall between me and my emotions, me and the world, me and God (excuse the poor grammar--I always say one should learn the rules, stick to the rules--so that one can purposely break them for effect).  In other words, I'm walled inside a glass cube, and though I can see out, I can't hear, or touch the glories of creation, nor taste that the Lord is Good.  Everything feels muted...and I don't know how to break down that wall.  In fact, I'm not certain I'm even capable of it on my own.  Only God can do this for me.  God, whose ways I know and trust, who I believe is there, seems silent.  Perhaps the operative word is "seems" but somehow that 'seems' makes me feel a distance that might not actually be there.  Or myabe He's just beyond this erected wall, just waiting for me to reach out.  But all the build-up of physical pain, professional disappointment, worldly uselessness paralyzes me. 

Do I trust Him anyway? Do I go about my life in faith that He is at work, is bent on shattering this glass wall?  Has purpose and intention in the apparent silence?  Sometimes I do...trust that I mean.  But other times I just sit here, doing nothing--REALLY doing nothing.

I want to trust Him, want to feel the corresponding lightness (even when I'm in intense physical discomfort) that comes with full awareness of His Spirit within.  I've lived in that fullness before, I know the joy of such favor.  Am I selfish to want it always?

It's been said that Mother Teresa, who spoke of an early visitation from the Lord that sent her to India, that pushed her into her Nobel-Prize winning, gospel-bent life of service to the poor, spent the last 50 years of her life with looming doubts.  Dwelling in the silence, living more in Holy absence rather than Holy Presence.  Yet she never wavered in her devotion, in her mission, never gave in (at least externally and actively) to those looming doubts.  The doubts weren't the last word of her days or her life.  She was too busy practicing Matthew 25: caring for the sick, feeding the starving, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned.  And God, I KNOW, counts it as righteousness, honors her obedience.  Satan's master plan--as much as it depended on her life--was thwarted!

This is the kind of life I want: to obey, to practice His presence, to do for the least of 'these', no matter how silent God is.  No matter how long the silence lasts.

This, then, in my only failing.  Not the silence, not the glass wall, but my paying more attention to that wall, to that silence, than I do to "putting on Christ!"  I don't--I shouldn't--need His voice to know His words, to obey His Word.

Forgive me, Lord.  Move me, give me courage and strength to act, to speak where you ask, what you ask.  To simply live the gospel intentionally, watching for Your backside, if that's the only glimpse I get.

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