Yesterday I was privileged to join the thousands of pilgrims who had flocked to York Minster to see the casket containing the bones of St Therese of Lisieux. People came from miles around, some with deep faith came to venerate the Saint, others with none came out of curiosity. The Christians who came represented a mix of denominations, I went because I have read her writings and out of sheer curiosity having never been to anything like this before.
To put it in crude terms I was blown away by the by the deep sense of God's presence, of gentleness, of holiness and purity. Today as I reflect upon the experience I recognise that there have been other places and other times when I have experienced a tangible touch of God. I wonder if it was because the message that Therese had is so much needed today, she experienced God as a God of love, and encouraged others to draw closer...
How about you, where do you find God's peace and presence, is there:
1. A place that holds a special memory?
Many...the vesper dell at Lake Junaluska, where I struggled with an overwhelming and frightening encounter with the love of God. A certain overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Low tide in the mouth of Deep Creek, with me in my kayak and no other people around.
2. A song that seems to usher you into the Holy of Holies?
Again, many. I refer you to:Listening to "Peace" right now.
Rich Mullins almost any of the slower stuff, and especially his last album.
3.A book/ poem/ prayer that says what you cannot?
St. Patrick's Breastplate, Much of Brian Wren's work and this one from
The Book of Uncommon Prayer:
it is hard to believe
that you want what I have to give,
that you take me as I am,
where I am.
I find it difficult to trust you,
else I would not be so uptight and tense,
so anxious and uncomfortable.
Yet the Lord Jesus taught us to come to you
in the naturalness of our undressed lives,
and in the disorder of our chaotic spirits.
So I come.
I come, O Lord,
moving in the right direction, I hope.
I come, O Lord,
turned toward the light that you offer.
And if in my coming, my moving, my turning,
I am strengthened,
That is enough.
It is more than I can manage alone.
But then, there is little I can manage alone.
I need other people,
and above all,
I need you, O God. Amen.
4. How do you remind yourself of these things at times when God seems far away?
The hypnotherapy I took last year reminded me how important meditation is. Those are good times to get quiet, center myself, and remember the promise, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
5.Post a picture/ poem or song that speaks of where you are right now in your relationship with God...
Chris Rice, "So Much for My Sad Song"