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
–Teresa of Avila (translated by Daniel Ladinsky)
You are worthy to leave this sadness,
I hear God say to me in Teresa’s poem.
A cape of sadness slips from my shoulders and falls
to the floor.
I watch the trapped air dissipate until my sadness is inert.
I think about what makes me sad,
who makes me worry,
what feels impossible, unfair,
losing battles and deep divides.
Walk away from all that sadness, you say.
You can trust that I will be there
no matter what happens.
I try on trust,
run my fingers over the smooth burgundy fabric.
I wrap it around me and read the poem again.
You prepare a bed for me . . .
a bed in a room, a room in a house. Your house, my home.
I live there with you.
I have a place at the table.
My chair scrapes the floor as I pull it back. I sit down, inch it forward, and see
my reflection in my plate.
I pick up my fork, my knife, turn it slowly in my hand.
There I am again.
I belong. I belong. I belong. I belong.
The words chug along like a hundred car train.
I watch each car pass. “You belong” is painted on this car,
and the next and the next and the next.
My head moves back and forth, and back and forth until
the words blur into one long ribbon of fact.
I imagine coming home to you,
being greeted at the door,
sitting on the porch swing, talking about my day.
And you tell me
every place is home because you are
Every community is home because you are in each member.
I belong to my church, my neighbourhood, my friends, my family,
the earth, the sky, and every living thing.
I belong here because here is everywhere
What do you call out?
You are worthy to leave the sadness of believing
you don’t belong.
Imagine living like you belong here.
Now step into what you see.
Live like you belong here.
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What would it be like to be visited by an angel and told that you were favoured, treasured and cherished by God?
And what if that favour meant that, right now, in your life as it is, God is birthing something unique in you that will bless you and your world?
Please join spiritual directors and Living from the Heart facilitators, Audrey Hoehn, Brent Unrau and me as we lead an Advent online morning retreat called The Advent of God’s Favour: A Quiet Morning of Reflection on the Annunciation of Mary on Saturday, December 4, 9-noon PT. Register here.