Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sacred Presence

It has been quite some time since my fingers and this keyboard have had a deep conversation. Writing has always been a stress reliever for me; but work, school and personal crisis put my mind straight into overdrive and finding time to reflect in stillness was next to impossible. It is hard to paint pictures of serene beauty and peace when your life is in turmoil, when there is anything but peace in your thoughts. So, I chose a journey of solitude, to seek peace amidst my inner chaos and to have conversation with God on a level that I have avoided for a long time. After almost two months I can not say I am much closer to resolution, but I've learned that our Creator speaks to us in many ways.
The first time I heard him, I picked up a little book my mother gave me for Christmas by Sarah Young called “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” It was a devotional with a little bit of wisdom given for each day of the year. Here it was April 4th and it was the first day I even cracked the binding of that little book. So naturally, I turned the pages to April 4th and the words read:
    “I meet you in the stillness of your soul. It is there that I seek to commune with you. A person who is open to my presence is exceedingly precious to me. My eyes search to and fro throughout the earth, looking for one whose heart is seeking me. I see you trying to find me; our mutual search results in joyful fulfillment.
    Stillness of soul is increasingly rare in this world addicted to speed and noise. I am pleased with your desire to create a quiet space where you and I can meet. Don't be discouraged by the difficulty of achieving this goal. I monitor all your efforts and am blessed by each of your attempts to seek my face.”
As I read the words tears ran down my cheeks. It was almost as if God had wrapped loving arms around me with a promise of wholeness; reassurance that I had chosen the right path for me (difficult as it was) at this time in my life. Yet it also scared me. If God knew the desires of my heart, surely there was also knowledge of my deepest pains and deepest evils. What more would the creator of everything have to say to me knowing everything that I was and wasn't? That was the last day I've read out of that book. However, our Creator is always speaking to us and it was not the last time creation would speak to me.

About two weeks ago I was finishing up my Spring semester at school. It was taking every little ounce of effort I had to even finish the simplest tasks. I was feeling defeated and as I pulled up in my driveway I sat in my car with a heavy heart, wondering if I had made the right choices, wondering if I was on the right path for my life and wondering if there was healing in my sanctuary. I opened the door and there was a bird in the tree singing his little heart out. It was so beautiful that I just listened and allowed the melody to soothe my spirit. Then later that evening, a friend posted a song on her Facebook page by Tamela Mann called “Take Me to the King.” Typically I would have skipped over this song as I don't view God as a king, I believe that title comes from mankind, but I listened anyway and that song spoke to my soul. “So Lord speak right now. Let it fall like rain. We're desperate. We're chasing after you.” All I could do was one of those smiles with tears because I could hear my God once again reassuring me it will be okay.
Over the past week I could not help but wonder how many times the essence of that sacredness would seek me? What made me so special that God would continue to reach out to me? Then it occurred to me, I really am not any more special than the next person.  My joy, pain and sorrow is no more than my neighbors'.  Our creator speaks to all of us all of the time. There is sacredness in the breeze upon our cheek, the raindrop that renews the earth, the song bird perched in the tree, a song playing at the right time, or an excerpt from a dusty book sitting on the shelf. Not everyone needs an extended journey of solitude to find sanctuary in our God. Our Creator is always speaking to us, offering comfort and wisdom, even on our most discouraging days.  All we have to do is create a quiet space in our heart and be open to receive the blessings of sacred conversations, available to all of us, all the time.  In that, I believe we can all find some type of serentiy and peace amidst the stir of echoes.

April Redwing

Guest Blogger

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