Wednesday, 03 October 2012
Prayer can often be difficult -- well OK, it is for me. It is when I am in the most pain, or struggling with a deep inner issue, that I am often tempted not to pray. I flee from transparency with God, even though I know that in reality I am ‘seen’ in an absolute way. I have an image of the human being; body, mind and spirit, as a clear crystal sphere wherein nothing is hidden, there are no corners to hide, no cubby holes to store deep dark secrets, though I attempt to do so. So hiding is impossible, though I believe I try to do that from time to time, or perhaps all of the time. Repression is there for a reason, it protects me from seeing too much too soon.
I often wonder if my inner numbness or my experience of nothingness is a way for me to anesthetize myself, so that I don’t feel and have to face my inner chaos and pain before God in childlike simplicity. Love cast out fear as is stated in the first letter of John. When it is understood that all is seen and we are loved not only in spite of that reality, but because of it, that opening up to grace can be done at a deeper level.
It can take years to arrive at such a state.
My human projection onto God (my idols) can be fearsome, but their powers die as I mature and grow in trust, allowing me to let go of limiting understandings of God’s love for all men and women. As I become more intimate and trusting with God, the self knowledge that flows from that can actually be experienced that I am becoming worse instead of better.
On the other hand, I also see that my relationships with others are cleaner, less complex and I slowly become more accepting and compassionate. For self knowledge like the Word of God is a two edge sword, it wounds in order to heal and then wounds again. The fire of God’s love, the Holy Spirit will burn away all that keeps us from loving union with ultimate reality.
Waiting on the Lord can be difficult. I am God’s work of art and he will chip away no matter how painful it can be. All I need do is wait, sit, while being open and trusting. Which by the way are choices not something I just fall into. Self righteousness and self knowledge can’t go together, for the ancient saying is correct. “There but for the grace of God go I”. After all of these years, I am still at the beginning. Perhaps it will be that way for all eternity, always at the beginning, something new, never old, or worn, or boring.
As you've gotten to know yourself and God more intimately, how has it hurt and how has it healed you? What have you learned about yourself and about God by waiting on Him?