And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
–Luke 9:58 (NRSVUE)
I want to lay my head on the satisfaction
of believing that what I do
is a gift to others
and gives glory to God.
But reality whisks that pillowy thought away
when I’m rudely awakened by the truth
of how my helpful tendencies
are no help at all.
Then, like Jacob on the run
after deceiving his father and lying to his brother,
I find myself outside the city gates,
resting my head on a rock.
Yet, that night You came in a dream–
angels ascending and descending on a stairway to heaven.
“Surely God was in this place, and I did not know it,” Jacob said.
When I lay my head on a pillow
it turns into a rock,
and that rock
becomes a pillow
until it changes again.
helpful and unhelpful
healer and wounder
disabled and gifted
human and divine
and in the tension
my suffering and my salvation.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord,
and our heart is restless until it rests in you.
— St. Augustine, Confessions
.∗ ∗ ∗
Advent 3 Reflection
Take a few moments and be with the words and images in today’s blog post.
- What new awareness has awakened you to an unhelpful tendency in yourself that causes suffering in you or others?
- What thoughts, feelings and felt senses arise as you welcome or resist this awareness?
- Imagine God listening and feeling what you feel. What do you sense God offering you in this moment?
- Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) As you open to Jesus’ invitation, how is God saving you?