advent apertures 2019: day 10

A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide…precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give [God] a chance to be with us where we feel most alone.

Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let [the one] whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend be our companion.

 

from Gracias

Henri Nouwen

 

There have been numerous occasions in my life when it was possible for me to have an encounter with the Holy One and I have been so shaken up, I froze: overawed to the point of muteness. 

Then suddenly, as if some inbuilt automatic fast-action rewind instinct kicked in, all my blinkered prejudices and fearful thoughts start building themselves into contorted constructions.  I am filled with the urgency to block out as much of the terrifying, revealing Light as possible. 

Then I run away in the opposite direction in the desperate desire to hide my shame-filled past, my guilt-filled present, and my catastrophe-filled future.  I know what God must think of me, and I certainly do not want to hear that judgement spoken outloud by an Archangel; such knife-honed, clear-cut indisputable rejection would be more than I could bear.

What my system all too often seems unable to do is to just stop.

Look.

Wonder. 

Receive a passing angel’s blessing. 

My inability to sit and wait in my unknowing, in the midst of my unholy mess, in the place of no words, continually causes me pain; my ability to sit and wait until the holes which fear has drilled into me resolve into wholes, is pitifully inadequate. 

And yet … and yet … and yet

I still, somehow, have not yet lost sight of the faint glimmer of the thinnest of threads of trust entirely: even all my cluttered mess, all my bleak emptiness, is not beyond being graced into gift by the Giver.

 

What He sees

is Christ

in each of us …

 

What He sees

is …

 

our oh so imperfect attempts

at sacred art, whose attempt

is sacred.

 

He reads it as sacred: holy writ.

 

What He sees is Christ the work

of art, the masterpiece …

What He sees

 

is what any parent sees

in the refrigerator art of the beloved child,

perfection.

 

We are perfected in His eyes.

It only takes His eyes.

 

from ‘What He Sees’, Light Takes

Mia Anderson

Book of Light (bl)Book of Light. iPhone image.  (with thanks to Rachel).

Published by Kate Kennington Steer

writer, photographer and visual artist

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