Working through Catharin of Siena’s Dialog is an encouraging reminder to be passionate in our pursuit.
I can feel the Earth tossing aside the blankets of her cool Spring bed as she moves to embrace the heat of Summer. The Spring has been extravagant in its offerings of rain, the life giving hope poured into aquifers, and hidden places. Will this be a thirsty Summer? Will there be a cry for rain? In the Earth? In me? I watch how nature doesn’t strive with the turning. Obedient, and present with the days. There is a quiet acceptance and a joyous celebration in the morning songs. It is here I discover the syllabus for this season. There is a trust that though we change, and the turnings come to our lives, there is One who does not change. There is one whose love is constant, whose supply is constant, whose compassion is constant, whose care is constant, who neither slumbers nor sleeps as He watches over the work of His hand. One who never ceases speaking us into being, and because he is, we are.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.
So, I listen to the praise of sparrows, who can not fall without notice from their Maker, and join with the Psalmist of Israel and turn my face to the heat of a new season, while I trust as I sing: “I will praise the name of God with a song, and magnify Him with Thanksgiving” Psalm 69:30
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord,
and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” ―St. Augustine
I have been pondering this reality for months. We are made for our God. Not for any other endeavor but to worship the one who crafted us with his hands, his words, his breathe. An object of His fascination and desire, we will stay in this state of discontent until our internal longings are satisfied with the beauty of His face. We have been torn from the purpose and meaning of our existence, and He is daily bringing us to a place of gazing, to discover our image. To remind us of our reflection. Often we catch a glimpse of our true selves in the kind face of strangers extending love to strangers, benevolent pauses as we consider one another in the hallways of life. We hear our native tongue when healing syllables of life flow from lips that choose to bleed rather than hurl curses at the offender. We are reminded for a moment that we belong “other” than this dysfunction of existence we tear our way through on any given day. We belong to a kingdom ruled by a King of Righteousness who shall reign forever, and ever. So, we comfort one another s restless hearts, as we gently lift chins to the horizon, and remind ourselves….we were made to gaze on beauty.
-”you can’t really know something until you’ve seen it transformed by change. You must see it in all the angles of light and shadow provided for by time. You must see it in wind and in rain, under a blanket of snow, in the gentle light of spring, in the hazy heat of late summer, in the crisp cool of an autumn day. You must witness it in twilight and at sunrise, in thunderstorms and under the light of the moon and stars. Only then do you get a glimpse of the spirit lurking underneath. Only then do you begin to understand it.”-Andy Goldsworthy, artist as quoted by Danielle on her blog The Teacup Chronicles.
This quote has captivated my musing for several days now. What a great observation of life. I must ask the question if I love with change in view? Do I have the vision to see someone in a winter season, full of spring blossoms, and laden in the summer sun with fruit abundant? Do I steady my heart gaze through long winter days of drought and dreary moments knowing that love conquers death? Have I seen myself this way? Do I believe in the faithfulness of my Maker, to shepherd me to new seasons?
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Our Lord has an expectation of future and hope for his Beloved. As his friends we must ask ourselves if we “see” those in our care? Do we watch expectantly for the first blooms combing the branches of the heart with gentle hands waiting for the promise of spring, or are we quick with the pruning shears lopping off relationships we are sure are dead only to mourn the blossoming branch laying on the ground withering, and separated from our life? I desire to have this kind of vision that sees woody, leafless branches in the grey of winter and can smell the fragrance of fruit.
Oh Lord. Help me to keep my pruning hook in the shed. You are the Master Gardener, you decide the shape of my life, mine is to receive, and give the life you have given me. Open my eyes Lord. I want to see you at work in the Earth of my feet, the Earth of my hands, and the Earth of my heart.
Shared with Seedlings in Stone.