Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Stirrings of God In Lonely Contemplation

Far too much of the time we’re too busy to fall into loneliness, and in busyness we’re further from God than ever, for God is in the silence of loneliness. That is the beginning…
“This is the work of the soul which most pleases God…
Do not let up then, but labour at it until you feel longing. For the first time you do you find only darkness and, as it were, a cloud of unknowing.”
— Cloud of Unknowing (Anonymous)
Of course, finding God may begin there, but enjoying God’s Presence doesn’t end there.
We must be ready to arrive in the lonely place — the cloud of unknowing — which is not a hard place for many to arrive at. There, in that place, where the soul feels dark and all alone, supplant emptiness with love. Not by knowledge or memory or any other external thing. Allow the emptiness you feel to be replaced with the warmth that can only come through a meeting with God’s Spirit. Feel warmth. Feel aglow.
Simply feel it.
It’s simpler than you think. Without adding anything, right in that lonely spot of being, feel horridly alone, with such a great longing that cannot be healed, feel it.
Feel love. Feel loved. Feel loving.
These are the stirrings of God’s Presence that are so simple we miss them unless we keep it simple. Complication is the enemy of experiencing God.
***
Christmas can be the loneliest place on earth. Yet the loneliest are closest to experiencing God’s Presence, for love’s longing craves what only God can give.
In seconds of loneliness, the moment of hollow anguish, be warmed at the fire of love.
Don’t be afraid if you cry or feel overwhelmed. It’s God’s felt Presence that creates that integrity in us. We no longer need to act differently to how we feel. And as feeling emerges, in being moved, transition from emptiness into warmth.
In being moved by love’s warmth you’re experiencing God coming close inside you.
Rest in that.
Despite feeling overwhelmed, rest.
Once you’ve found it, you may return anytime, so cherish your loneliness.
No amount of knowledge about God can compare with the smallest experience of God.
Postscript: I have found closeness with God most paradoxically when I should have felt farthest away. When life was nothing like it should have been, and when it was everything I hated, there, in the midst of that pain, was God. At my surrender.
So, surrender. All your brokenness. Then, once inspired of God, go and do His loving will.

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