Many people believe we are living in one of the most stressful times in history. The stress isn’t about being eaten by dinosaurs or how we’ll escape the marauding Vikings. People are now eaten by schedules and crushing poverty.
A friend of mine said recently the modern family is living life at an abusive pace.
And writing takes such a long time.
I listened to Berry’s Port William stories again and thought how long it takes to get as good as he is, the observations and control he has developed, to be able to capture what he does:
“Afterward they watched him from the windows, for his fury had left an influence. The house was filled with a quiet that seemed to remember with sorrow the quiet that had been in it before Thad had come.”
Such a patient listening. How does one achieve this?
Not yet sharp enough to realize I’ve just passed one.
“Whatever the circumstances may be, that Holy Innocent Eternal Child must be in contact with His Father….I have to see that the Son of God is manifested in my mortal flesh” (My Utmost, Aug. 8, 9)
I leave the book open and peruse the plants growing on the deck from the pots we’ve lined up, the deck that needs cleaning and sealing before the rain returns. The Son of God, born in my mortal flesh, has been my new reality for almost 3 years now. It was there before, but not in any true way, any decided and humble way. And now, now that I feel his love and choose to respond to it by rising to it and being with him, is he getting the chance to manifest himself in me? Or am I still perpetually moving too quickly on to the next thing?
There are beans and tomatoes, zinnias and pumpkins, and none of them are hurrying.
If there is no room in my life for this essential listening, how can I expect to ever write the things that can hardly be felt, let alone spoken?
And then the obvious hidden spark drops into my head: He is in those plants over there I’m moving so quickly by. Some would argue that’s pantheism. But God save us if we can’t see that he must hold all things together, every atom and fiber of this creation bears his miraculous fusing. And the difference between seeing him and seeing a plant is everything.
He’s in those berries as he’s in me. And my eyes are not so much choosing to see as they are choosing not to continue in blindness.
Let me not forget or become too lazy to know when I am seeing you, or too fearful to know what my own spirit tells me of you.
God, calm me. Still my life and let me listen. Show me your life in me and lead me to the ever stiller communion with you.
And let me share what you would have me share.