God Desires Us

Creation_of_Adam_Sistine_Chapel wikipedia cropped“You can’t catch the Macdonald bus here,” a man says to me at the VCC-Clark Skytrain Station in Vancouver. “You need to go up to Clark.”

I hurry up Sixth Avenue. It’s early Saturday morning and I need to get to St. James Anglican church. I’m co-facilitating a retreat and don’t want to be late.

I suddenly realize I’m not sure of the bus route. Do I catch it going north or south? I feel a twinge of anxiety. I want to ask someone but no one’s around. If I run back to the station, I might miss the bus.

I spot a woman with a bag of groceries in each hand, walking briskly ahead of me. I quicken my pace.

“Hello,” I say to get her attention. But she doesn’t hear me.

“Hello!” I call louder.

And then, “HEL-LO!”

The woman stops, turns around and removes her earphones while still holding the bags. She’s about thirty years old with long curly hair and a hand-knitted toque.

“Oh, darling,” she says, looking into my eyes. “What’s the matter?”

Her compassion disarms me. “I … I need to catch the #22 bus to Main and Hastings.”

“Oh, that bus stop is across the street there.” She comes closer and points. “See it?”

She waits until she knows I have.

“Yes. Thank you.”

She hears the relief in my voice. Her shoulders relax; her back straightens. “You’re welcome.” She smiles warmly, then goes on her way.

Creation_of_Adam_Sistine_Chapel wikipedia eve

HE DESIRED ME SO I CAME CLOSE

No one can near God unless He has
prepared a bed for you.

A thousand souls hear His call every second,
but most every one then looks into their life’s mirror and
says, “I am not worthy to leave this sadness.”

When I first heard His courting song, I too
looked at all I had done in my life and said,

“How can I gaze into His omnipresent eyes?”
I spoke those words with all my heart,

but then He sang again, a song even sweeter,
and when I tried to shame myself once more from His presence
God showed me His compassion and spoke a divine truth,

“I made you, dear, and all I make is perfect.
Please come close, for I
desire
you.”

–Teresa of Avila (translated by Daniel Ladinsky)

Advent Reflection Questions:

  • As you consider the images of God in the painting, story or poem, what feelings are evoked?
  • Could these feelings contain God’s desire for you to come close? 

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Love by Dustin Gaffke

The term “love mischief” comes from a poem called Seed Cracked Open, written by Hafiz, a Sufi who lived in Persia in the 14th century. He wrote scores of poems about his playful relationship with God. Once I spent a whole retreat reading nothing but Hafiz’s poetry and felt divinely embraced. It’s the love mischief of Daniel Ladinsky, who translated these poems, we have to thank for introducing us to Hafiz and reviving the love poetry of Teresa of Avila and other ancient mystics. Recently, Daniel left this comment on one of my posts. “You say, ‘I did a little dance,’ in reading a comment I posted. That is really my sole care in the world now … to help every creature boogie ever higher—become more free and safe.”

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Creation of Adam” Sistine Chapel. Wikimedia. Non-commercial usage allowed.
“HE DESIRED ME SO I CAME CLOSE” by Teresa of Avila in Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Various (Author), Daniel Ladinsky (Translator). Used with permission.
“Love” by Dustin Gaffke. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2015.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Advent, Mystical, Poetry, Popular Posts, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to God Desires Us

  1. Donna says:

    Thank you so much for this Esther. Missed you at the Advent Retreat. It was a small group, very intimate and I really enjoyed Steve and Jean leading.
    May your heart swell with new and deeper knowings this Advent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. netablogs says:

    What a lovely poem, and timely! Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Esther Hizsa says:

    You’re welcome. I love God’s timing!

    Like

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