Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thinking, That's All: Presence

I never liked the silence of me alone in a room without at least the presence of another to make it less still.

And then I discovered a Presence in which I wanted to bask, with whom I wanted to rest in the timelessness of quiet, in the quietness of slow-passing time.

I forget so easily, though, as easily as I forget the one thing for which I went to the store when I'm walking to the checkout, cart full of things we only half-need --

I forget amid the constant foghorn of busyness sounding through the thick air that my heart is filled not by the workings of my hands, but rather its filled by His handiwork within my heart during these times of stillness, during these times when my mind switches off the constant drumming of a make-it-or-break-it beat and instead beats in the rhythm of grace and rest.

I forget that His rhythm beats in my heart best.

We spend two days, John and I, in retreat of everyday life, filling small pockets of time with silence in His presence, keeping company with others who seeking to live in the intersection of where their deep joy meets the world's deep need.

We come around the table, seeking the very spoken Words Jesus shared in the upper room with his disciples.

We break bread together, trying to make sense of those Words, apply them to the here and now of our lives.

Together, we share life in solid community, bound by an appetite to know Him and make Him better known in our own hearts and in the hearts of those who crave more than what culture says life is in the here, in the now.

We share what has left us tired and aching -- the loneliness of being alone in a crowd and the noise of brains that won't enter into the rest to which He invites us.

It is an extreme paradox, this place and time in which we live, where we feel most alone when we are together and when we seek to come into His presence we feel alone because we are taken captive by the thoughts, the fears, the busyness of the day.

We break in retreat these two days to keep company with God.




And the quiet isn't so quiet.


Or alone

when we keep company in His presence.