I’ve recently have felt little…little connection to God or to His children in my midst, little motivation to reestablish a connection (or connections) with Him, a sense of apathy and a ‘maybe tomorrow’ attitude. Is this dryness? That aridity of which some write?
Oh, I go through the motions. I pray the standard prayers. I ask for His intervention with friends or family who are struggling with various challenges. I read our daily lessons (most days). I remember to give thanks most days and to count His blessings. I mostly don’t even fall asleep through these.
But the zeal. The awe. The magnificence of it all mostly eludes me. It has done so increasingly for some months now.
The need…no, the absolute compulsion…to describe my brushes with the divine is dampened and limp. My words…it’s as though my words have, on their own, decided to hide in the ‘way-back’ recesses of my being…jeering at me from time to time from behind some large obstruction, knowing that I sense them there, their presence, but knowing I won’t venture into the darkness to find them.
They don’t feel like my friends right now.
And when I think about writing here, in this place, I have this fear that my words will fail me. That I’ll end up projecting….what?….some dismal, self-demeaning (or worse, self-congratulatory) sniveling, pathetic rant about losing my way. Who cares? Everyone goes through these periods, right? Why make others want to avert their attention so to avoid being dragged down by my lethargy? Why speak if I cannot lift others up with my joy?
And so, my silence. Or is this my pride?
At church last week I prayed that God would touch me and rekindle in me that divine sense of motivation where I might see…well, if not His beautiful face…at least His footsteps as He passed by me.
The lesson of the weekend was from Matthew 17:14-20, when Christ, dispirited, expresses his frustration with His disciples’ lack of faith, which had resulted in their inability to heal a young boy,
‘Faithless and perverse generation! How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.’
Later in the story, Jesus walked on water out to His disciples. They thought He was a ghost, but
Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.’
It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’
Jesus said, ‘Come.’ Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water,
but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord,’ he cried, ‘save me!’
Lord, save me!
The priest’s homily went on to illumine the lesson, reminding us, as well, of Mary’s last words to us in the Bible when she told the servants at the wedding feast in Cana to “do whatever He tells you.”
At this point during the homily, the high clouds that had begun our day that day parted and the sun shown brightly through the stained glass windows of the church right on the spot where I was sitting. It brought tears and then a smile as I remembered the scene from “The Blues Brothers” when Jake and Elwood saw the Light and felt their mission from God to be fully defined.
Lord, save me.
How does He do this saving? How does He manage to bolster our faith? Mother Mary tells us “do whatever He tells you.” Simply that.
Keep our eyes fixed solely on Him. We can do nothing, help no one without continual and complete faith in His power. Then, do as He tells me to do – believe in Him and write it down.
His grace motivates me to desire and then to action. But only by quieting the cacophony of my life can I hear His voice. By sitting still in a kind of holy anticipation can I tempt those words out from their hiding places.
And rather like shy and cautious cats, if I sit still and quietly enough and believe, they’ll eventually bless me with their presence…maybe even curl up in my lap where we can warm one another for a time.