Thursday, April 23, 2009

Like a weaned child....

I do not concern myself with great matters,
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
-Psalm 131:2

I am blessed to have a barely used wooded trail and urban park, to exercise, walk and enjoy and it's only a block away from my house. I often enjoy just walking these trails while listening to various biblical teachers on my iphone. It often feels like a private stroll with a mentor. I enjoy prayerfully engaging the content and letting it seep into my heart and mind as I wander this beautiful sanctuary.

Today, these two verses made up my contemplation and prayers. I found them to be deeply nourishing, as I seek to cultivate a inner life that is also disposed as a "weaned child". I find that metaphor to be perfect for naming what I sense the Lord doing in me and as a description of my own interior prayer life. No fussy, demanding cries of "feed me, feed me", no messy issues to clean up, no clingy possessiveness that is rooted in fear...just peace. Simple quiet and repose.

Inward gentleness.

It's not that I have nothing pressing, tragic or stuff that constantly demands my attention. It's not that I dont have glaring weakness that could monopolize my mind and heart...but in the face of those enemies...the Lord is teaching me to sit at a table He has prepared and that I must sit down at. It is here that I discover and gratefully ponder:

I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
-Psalms 40:17

This poem by Mary Oliver captures these moments:

The Place I Want to Get Back To

is where
in the pinewoods
in the moments between
the darkness

and first light
two deer
came walking down the hill
and when they saw me

they said to each other, okay,
this one is okay,
let's see who she is
and why she is sitting

on the ground, like that,
so quiet, as if
asleep, or in a dream,
but, anyway, harmless;

and so they come
on their slender legs
and gazed upon me
not unlike the way

I go out to the dunes and look
and look and look
into the faces of the flowers;
and then one of them leaned forward

and nuzzled my hand, and what can my life
bring me that could exceed
that brief moment?
For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,
not waiting, exactly, just lingering.
Such gifts, bestowed,
can't be repeated.

If you want to talk about this
come to visit. I live in the house
near the corner, which I have named
Gratitude.
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