A rainy day here in Navan, and, having got a few things ticked off my “to do” list, I thought I’d take the time to put a few words down on paper as a bit of a blog.
The funny thing about blogging is that sometimes the words and ideas come easily, and sometimes not. Often times a blog idea will come out of an idea which I’ve been sitting with for a while, and then at other times, it comes out of a reaction within me to some event which has happened along life’s way. And part of this blog is indeed a reaction which I had to something which happened during my day yesterday, but first….
Having finished Henri Nouwens excellent book “ Letters to Marc about Jesus” I have been reading another of his book. This one is called “With burning hearts”- a meditation on the Eucharistic life. Nouwen has based this book on the story told in the gospel of Luke 24: 13-35 where the two disciples walking on the road home to Emmaus have their grief journey interrupted by Jesus. I love this story. I love the idea of God interrupting my day and meeting me where I am at. I love the encouragement within it to hear His voice afresh reminding me of the truth of the whole story, beginning to end, and how within my part of the story, I, being known to Him, am held within His safekeeping.
I think for me, alongside knowing that God as El-Roi watches over me, knowing that I am known to, and by the One who holds galaxies in place, whose word tells me that He delights in me, and sometimes can even be found singing songs over me, is an often anchoring hope for me.
A real favourite Psalm of mine is 139, which starts off with this verse. Oh Lord, you know me. Just think of that….
“HE KNOWS ME…”
He knows the me I am, just as I am, in this place, on this day. He knows the me that under His guidance needs changing, reshaping and remolding. He knows the hurts I often hide behind my “I’m fine” words, and smiling “I’m okay” masks. And He also knows that many of those same hurts will best be healed by time spent being still in His presence. If you get some time today, why not have a look at the whole of Psalm 139 and see if your heart isn’t encouraged once again by some of the many truths within it…
So then, what happened yesterday was that twice during the day I was “told,” rather than being “asked would I please,” behave in a certain way in a paricular situation. And it rankled! I have my suspicions, not for sharing here, as to why these folk felt they needed to give me this advice, however, it did make me then sit back and examine how often do I, even if I’m not so blatant in my saying things out loud, how often do I think others ought to act in a particular way? And my truth is that sadly, too often when I meet people who don’t fit into my nice boundaries of what “norm” should be, I find myself judging them in all those ways I want so desperately not to be judged by others?
Also, I do think that in a world where how we look physically, what our financial status is, what level of education we’ve achieved: in a world where too often these things can become a defining part of our identity, I think many of us struggle, myself included, in knowing an acceptance by God whose name is Love and who daily longs to wrap us in His unconditional. I think sometimes we need to say sorry both for allowing societies norms, to dictate not only how we feel towards others, but also how we feel about ourselves. I know I do.
Choosing to close this time, not with a prayer of my own, but instead with one which popped into my “inbox” today and which was written by Gwen Smith.
Holy Lord, There is none like You and Your greatness is unsearchable.
Thank You for writing Your love on the fabric of humanity and on all that is created by Your hands.
Thank You for expressing Your love to me in the intricate, design details of my life. I stand in awe and bless Your great name.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray,
Yours in Him,
A word thought pondering by me…..
How, oh so very easily, words slip off our tongues,
too often with not enough real thought for the heart they land upon.
That heart which doesn’t need advice,
but rather someone just to sit alongside them, to join them where they are at.
The promise to offer up a prayer which, once we leave the company of that some other, all too easily slips out of our minds.
Make me mindful of the words which don’t need saying, the well-meaning words,
like “this is for the best,” or “you’ll be fine,” which are often of no help at all.
Make me mindful of those words too often offered to make me, r
rather than the other feel comfortable,
rather than choosing the truth of the discomfort of saying, “actually I don’t know.”
Lord within your minding of me,
please help me to show kindness both to others and to myself,
by being conscious of the words I utter,
and to have a Holy Spirit knowing of those words which are often best left unspoken.