Friday, August 1, 2008

Out of my head...

Sometimes when I pray I try to picture Jesus in the room with me. As a thinker (you know--“thinker” as opposed to “feeler,” one of those intense folk whose guiding star is analysis and logic—and, honest, I can’t help it!), I have not always been sure when I was truly at prayer, talking to and listening for the eternal sovereign God, and when I was still trapped in my own head analyzing, applying truth, imagining what I think God might think. To picture Jesus can help. As I move out of internal conversation and into communion/communication, He surprises me like fresh wind. Another is present Who introduces surprising perspective, a way of seeing that I am simply unable to get to on my own.

Journal: 25 February--Abu Dhabi and a full house. “To picture You, Lord, present in each room of this house…. As I look around our bedroom, suddenly conscious of my environment, I’m struck by evidences of Your grace in our life together: Cait’s childhood art, ‘miracle’ furniture we could not have afforded, the artistry of the carpet under my feet. The kitchen: You see what I eat and HOW I eat it (with furtive guilt, or with gratitude and health), and You are present during all the meal prep, fellowship and laughter. The living room: the words on the wall become Your words; the warmth and space reflect Your safety, welcome, protection.

Journal: 2 July—the flat in Kas, Turkey. “Early morning, watching the town awake. When I close my eyes and try to picture You, Lord Jesus, I again sense You standing and stooping to serve us communion—the same impression I had as we prayed together on the balcony at the Gokseke house Sunday night. This balcony and that other—places You have chosen and anointed to share Your flesh and blood. Dare I believe this image is from You and not my own hope alone?”

Journal: 4 July 2008, home in Abu Dhabi after nearly four months away. “Your presence here today: You twisted the tree that became the lamp. You knew the Indian carpenter that carved the flowers on the high bench, and the American one that built the oak sofa 100 years ago. You gifted Steve Gordon to paint, and You love the women who knotted the carpets, and the metal smiths of Oman, Afghanistan and Iran who pounded the pots and trays. You created cows that give meat and leather, sheep that provide wool, peacocks, whale bone, moose, and sand for concrete and glass.

“You call forth the creativity in artists and inventors—people You gift to see possibilities in raw materials. You see and love the workers who work today in the heat of Abu Dhabi, Suleyman who installs his handcrafted cabinets in our kitchen in Kas, and the sweet daughter who helps him.”

Journal: 21 July 2008. “This morning as I turn my mind to focus on You, Jesus, here with me, I am awed (and timid) to recognize that life lived in Your presence is HOLY.

“We are children-at-play in whom You delight as we listen and take You seriously with childlike trust, and as we ‘work out’ our day before You with the sober understanding that our “play’ has purpose, hope, reality. For a child, ‘play’ is serious business, concentrated, abandoned in time and energy, experimental, and rich in love.”

No comments: