Hello from my study, in splendid isolation? A friend reminded me of this quote from Lawrence Freeman of the World Community for Christian Meditation. It has a resonance in my soul and inspires me to hope for just such an encounter, even now as I feel anxious, angry, confused. So I shall close my computer, quieten my mind in prayer and wait on a God I have known to be loving and patient, waiting for me as God did for the wayward son, looking out daily, and when God sees that dirty bedraggled figure in the distance God, with no care for decorum, lifts up God’s skirts and runs toward me to greet me and hug me, with no questions about what I have been up to, no demand for explanations, not waiting for my stammer of apology, just wanting to celebrate with me, throw a party just for me. Try reading the story of the wayward son, and the self-righteous older brother in Luke 15 v 11-32.
A quote from Laurence Freeman
“Sometimes, when we are forced into something and feel imprisoned by a coldly impersonal, external force, we may burn up in rage at it or go into depression. And yet, sometimes, just sometimes if we are fortunate, the experience of being compelled liberates us into new and surprising views of reality. We encounter something unexpected, a hidden grace that could not otherwise have been able to find us.
As in meditation, there are times when we sit in a desert, dry and endlessly distracted by our anxieties or losses. An empty desolation stretches as far as we can feel in every direction. Better, we think, to do something useful or self-indulgent. The solitude is not the open space in which we feel connected to a greater whole but aloneness, constriction, abandonment or the feeling of being forgotten. The spectre of affliction haunts our soul.
Then, from an inner point, without location, an invisible ray of light touches and restores our shrivelled soul to life and hope. Not that all our wishes are fulfilled, in fact none of them may be, and the pain or loss may still be only too present. But a joy emerges that open a pathway to the source of being, our being.”
Ali Marshall, 19-03-20