Even When

I’m here as promised. I have lots of time but nothing I want to write about. I’m waiting, listening, remembering that You always come through. We’ve done three hundred and ninety-five blog posts together, and You’ve never let me down. Even when I had no time and no words, we squeaked out a poem.

What do you have for me today? What can we offer our readers?

I look back on my life lately. It’s a mix of surprise (“I did that!”) and humility (“I did that?”) and You, quietly in the background.

In our Lenten book group at my church, I’m reading Richard Rohr’s The Universal Christ, looking for a morsel to move me. So far, it’s all good stuff but more affirming than enlightening–except one part.

I felt my heart dial in when Rohr talked about You pulling back to create a vacuum that only You can fill. He talked about Mother Teresa and how she’d had many years of darkness. Then Rohr makes this confession:

“For the last ten years, I have had little spiritual ‘feeling’, neither consolation nor desolation. Most days, I’ve had to simply choose to believe, to love and to trust. . . The simple kindness and gratitude of good people produces a momentary ‘good feeling’, but even this goodness I do not know how to hold on to. It slides off my consciousness like cheese on a Teflon pan. But God rewards me for letting him reward me. This is the divine two-step dance that we call grace: I am doing it, and yet I am not doing it. It is being done unto me, and yet by me too. Yet God always takes the lead in the dance, which we can only recognize over time.” (78-79)

When You pull back and I don’t have a felt sense of your presence, I fear I’m failing. I’m not focussed enough in prayer, not disciplined enough in my ways, or perhaps I’ve wandered off the path. One of the reasons I was so touched by my experience in spiritual direction was that I had such a tangible sense of Your presence and love. You had not left me. You had not given up on me.

You are not giving up on me now. I bring nothing to our meeting today because you have not given me anything to bring. You are doing it so you can give me something now.

I think the word you have for us today is: persevere. “Keep going, I am with you,” You say, “Choose to believe, trust and love. Something is happening even when you can’t do some of the poses in yoga, even when you find yourself snacking at 1:30 in the morning, and even when you notice, after the fact, a way to be more generous or kind. I am in the even-whens.”

God does not know how to be absent.
–Martin Laird

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

The love mischief we need to do for the world right now is to wash our hands and to keep our distance. This will help stop the spread of Covid 19. This article from a doctor in Western Europe woke me up.

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


Credits and References:
“Eastern Phoebe.” is by Doug Greenberg. Used with permission.
Quote by Martin Laird is from Into the Silent Land.
“Eastern Phoebe” by Denis Fournier. Used with permission.
“Man washing hands” by Marco Verch. Used with permission
Banner image “EasternPhoebe” by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
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 2013-2020.  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 Lent, Poverty of Spirit, Prayer, Reflections, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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