Thursday, March 08, 2007

God hides

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 

Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.  (Psalm 13)

Teresa of Avila, the 16th century mystic, wrote, "How is it that, when there is so little time to enjoy your presence, you hide from me?"  She meant that earthly life is short, and so every living momnet with God is precious.  But reading her question now, I can't help but think about our busy schedules, and how everything we do requires use of our minds.  Even our leisure time is spent trying to "fill time", as if time were an enemy to be conquered.

But openness to God requires an uncluttered mind -- a mind that has some space to receive God. Even a moment here and there that is not addled by the crush of doing is a space for God to enter.  But while we are "wrestling with our thoughts", God hides.

During this time of attention and assessment, set aside some uncluttered time for God. Sit still, even for a few minutes. Take a walk (which is good for your body as well as your soul). Have a bath instead of a shower. Let God appear from out of the absence, and give light to your eyes.


Unhide yourself, O God, from behind the obstructions of my thoughts. There is so little time, in life and in my day, to enjoy your presence: I cannot risk losing a moment of it.  Come out where I can see you; let me heart serenade you. And give your light to my day, that each moment and morsel might shine in your glory. Amen.

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