On April 6 friend and mentor Rob Des Cotes passed into glory. Rob was a pastor, spiritual director and retreat leader as well as a husband, father, and grandfather, musician, writer and artist. Hearing God’s call to go deeper in contemplative prayer and contemplative living, Rob gathered others drawn to Christ and formed Imago Dei Community. Through his life and work, Rob helped many people in the Vancouver area and around the world open our hearts and minds more fully to God.
In honour of Rob, here is a post I wrote a couple of years ago after attending one of his retreats.
Immersed in an Ocean of Love
I awake with an emotional heaviness at 4 a.m. and remember what caused this feeling. I got hoodwinked by fear in a legitimate disguise: I saw an injustice and pushed the panic button–again. I ended up making a fuss over nothing, and now I wonder if those involved are getting frustrated with me.
I hate these holes in my bucket.
“If you were a leaky bucket and wanted to be filled with God’s love,” I heard Rob Des Cotes say at a prayer retreat not long ago, “you could either spend your life patching the holes or simply immerse yourself in the ocean of God’s love.”
When I heard Rob’s words, I imagined myself as that bucket–filled and surrounded with love. A deep ahhh relaxed my body.
God is loving me now at four in the morning. God doesn’t despise my weaknesses but sees these holes as openings through which I can be filled with love.
I breathe in and out and picture myself lying in God’s ocean of love. I hear the pebbles move, feel them shift under me as the cold water flows out and rushes in again. Salty waves flood my weaknesses and recede leaving every filament of their tattered edges as wet and vibrant as anemones.
In the morning my fears will have drifted out to sea; I will wonder why I was so worried. Even if my peers are wearied of me, I will not be undone. God is with me.
But here, now in the night, I don’t want a strategy for how to live with my weaknesses. Here and now, I just want to lie in the ocean of God’s love and feel God’s tireless, boundless love wash in and out of the holes in my soul.
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Rob Des Cotes made much love mischief with God in his life. He and his wife, Ruth, walked the Camino de Santiago and enjoyed community life with A Rocha and Imago Dei. Rob wrote four books of meditations for spiritual direction, Fan the Flame, Higher Than I, Ultreia! (Go Higher) and Strength to Strength. There are now Imago Dei groups world wide. Their ministry is “to encourage a deeper spirituality in the lives of Christians, to help recognize and welcome God’s transforming work in life, and to encourage a growing faith towards the life God is calling us to live in this world.” Rob lived life to the full and now he and God are making more love mischief in glory.