Deep Peace

John Rutter’s setting of the Gaelic blessing, “Deep Peace” is playing in the background. I have finished some writing, some house cleaning, put away the laundry and reviewed my calendar for the week… and have a few moments to just sit and Be.

At the silent retreat last month, I had opportunity to do some journaling and praying. My prayers were answered, though not how I expected. Not at all. And yet as I re-read my journal entry, I realized the words were still true:

In God’s silence, in God’s seeming inactivity, so much is going on. Just like the frozen pond in winter, with the peepers and fish buried deep in the bottom muck, things may be still, but they are forming. Within me, there is also — a deeper, cognitive, spiritual and intrinsically peaceful level of change in my soul. 

Would I have known the depths of a yearning for this as-yet unknown Call had I not been still enough to hear it? The quiet is unforced, just as God’s leading, not changed by my wishes but shaped by God’s wisdom.

There is comfort in knowing this… deep within, All is Well. There is so much NOISE in keeping Silence. Well, non-noise, really. And in all of this non-noise, there are reminders of life and hope and peace… surrounding and filling me. There is so much to hear that I can only BE in it.

lichen

I know this Deep Peace, though I have no way of explaining it… only being IN it. Though I still wrestle and complain, (and yes, ask my ‘WHYs’ and ‘WHY NOTs’) I still walk in a place of abiding Love.

I share all this because, I suspect that you, who stumble onto this blog, have your own questions and doubts just sitting there, too. And I believe, down to my toes, that even with unknown answers, it is Enough to just Be. Here. Now. In the Presence of the Divine…

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ,
of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.

Cross-posted: In the Quiet

Posted over at RevGalBlogPals:

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Lord,
in this waiting,
we stand in the silence,
surrounded by the faithful of today.
And the saints of old,
who watched and waited,
praised and prayed,
had visions and discouragements,
yet believed,
whisper to us on the winds of the Spirit,
“Wait… wait…”

May we put down deep roots
in this quiet witness
of time and place and holiness,
and hear Your call
to journeying
and waiting,
even now,
with hearts of hope and faith.

For we know, Divine One,
You shall build Your tabernacle among us
and You will be our God
and we will be Your people.
And yes,
we wait…
for You,
Holy One,
for You.

Amen.

 

How silently, how silently…

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My day at Dayspring Retreat Center was, again, full of beauty, stillness and peace. I forget  how much I enjoy the time in silence. The Divine speaks so loudly through Creation! The photos above capture some of the moments of our conversation…

In the chatter of the tree limbs banging one against another,
You are there.

In the whisper of the wild grasses, bending and dancing in the wind,
You are there.

In the utter silence on the path between the pines,
You are there.

In the muddled outlines of trees reflected on the pond,
You are there.

In the blooms of lichens and mushrooms,
You are there.

In all the twists and turns of the vines, and of my going out and coming in,
You are there.

My day in silence reminds me
That I know that I know that I know that I KNOW
You are there.

Blessed peace
Blessed quiet
Blessed silence

You are there.

 

Lessons in Silence, Part Two

I have a paper to finish, but this has to get written because it keeps inserting itself into my exegetical summary… which is most annoying! And since I am obviously not of a Turabian mind at the moment herewith is…

LESSONS IN SILENCE, PART TWO

I mentioned my short journey into silence this week here at Dayspring Retreat Center. There is another part to this story that has had me pondering with thankfulness.

My good friend Dana, fellow seminarian, Emmaus sponsor, prayer partner and all-round wonderful woman was unexpectedly also a participant at the silent retreat. What a shock (and a joy) to walk onto the porch of the retreat center and see her! After we laughed and hugged and laughed some more, I felt a touch from God that was a clear reminder, “See. I know what you need.” Yes. We spent the day in silence together. But knowing that she was around on the 200+ acres, also walking and talking with Jesus was just a delight to my heart. (This is Dana goofing around with “The Harpist” during Chick Week at the Beach.)

As I walked around the property, I spent a lot of time just listening to the sound of my footsteps blending with the beauty around me. I spent some time at the top of a hill overlooking a pond. There was no breeze, just blue sky, clouds, buzzards floating overhead, me, and God. I was wishing I had my camera when I had one of those “eureka” moments… (I snagged this picture from the Dayspring website… next time, I take my camera!)

Part of the pond was obscured by the hill.
Part of it was covered with a scum of algae.
And part of it, I could see a perfect reflection of the trees along one bank of the pond.
That’s my life.
There’s stuff I can’t see clear to understand – the part that was obscured.
There’s part of my life I know and understand PERFECTLY – the part that is a perfect reflection… where God is seen and known in my life.
There’s part that is visible, but clouded by whatever life has caused to block the reflection. Sin. Mine. Others. We get in the way and we don’t see what God is doing. (And sometimes, algae stinks!!)

I wrote this in my journal as I sat there…

It can be a swirl of noise,
tasks, people, and assignments…
It’s meant to be a holy service.
For God and Him only.

Yet…
There is posturing.
Sounded “edumacated.”
Elocution, diction and grammar.
A public “face” that covers pain.
Expectations and prejudice.
Self-righteousness and protectionism.

Lord…
I know that is NOT what You want!

Show me the balance…
…of confidently resting
my Call in You
…of humbly accepting
Your direction and correction.

I believe in what You
ask me to do.
I long to be in that place
You have called me to.
I wrestle with waiting
until You move…
until Your appointed time comes…

Yes.
Lord.
I breathe.
I listen.
I hear and obey.

September 5, 2007

There’s more brewing. Maybe it’ll blog.Deb

Lessons in silence… part 1


I had a wonderful day yesterday at Dayspring Retreat Center. Though I have been there before, I was again surprised at the quiet and peace that fell on me as I parked my car. Walking from the parking area to the Lodge where the retreat started, I heard just the “noise” of quiet and the wind in the trees.

The scenery was quiet and peaceful, but my mind was anything BUT! As I told the Spiritual Director, Dick, before we entered into the silence, “I’m confused, I’m angry and I’m hear to shut up and listen.” In a gentle way, he validated my feelings and encouraged me to “leave them” somewhere out in the 200 acres of the retreat center’s property, so that I could indeed hear God.

In our opening session, Dick read from Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. Manning’s words encouraged us to allow the One who abandoned all to engage us in relationship. That God was totally trustworthy. That He not only understood our fears, feelings and failings, but wanted to help us walk out of them. And then he read a pithy quote from Henry Nouwen:

“The root choice is to trust at all times that God is with you and will give you what you most need.” (from The Inner Voice of Love)

Trust.
Listen.
Walk with Me.

Yeah. A powerful start.

I walked out into the meadow, which had mowed paths through and around it in a kind of natural, grassy maze. I watched goldfinches feast on thistle seed maturing on the stalks. A couple of buzzards floated overhead. Milkweed pods, fat and green and brown, ready to explode And there were butterflies everywhere!

A monarch butterfly landed on one milkweed pod. In the instant that its feet touched the pod, it burst! The seeds floated out in the breeze and the butterfly hovered for a moment before returning to the spent pod. In that instant, I had one of my God pictures for the day…

When it is time — when I am ready (at full “maturity”) the pod will burst. The dreams and preparation and hard work will spill out. God’s intentions will be clear and I will move into His work. Nothing will stop them. Not prejudice, or bad theology. And when it’s time, I won’t be able to wait or pass the job to someone else. This chick will be let loose and won’t look back.

In the mean time? Papers. Projects. Internship. Laundry and kids. Husband. Church. Friends. All in the pod with me. It is a little crowded. But the time will come…

POOF!

I’m just getting ready.

…more later.

Thanks for listening…

Deb