Meditation of the Heart (Yaconelli) Day 4

These meditation/contemplation prompts from Mark Yaconelli are hard for me to do because I have to really settle into personal ‘spaces’ I usually try to avoid.  Today’s focus is on fear. One of the meditations texts is from Teresa of Avila “Let nothing disturb you; Let nothing make you afraid; All things pass.”

The sentence “Let nothing make you afraid” is echoing in my head like the incessant lapping ocean waves upon the shoreline. “Let nothing make you afraid”.  It doesn’t say don’t have fear, or don’t be afraid, or even don’t run from your fear.  It says let nothing MAKE you afraid.  I take that to mean I have some choice is how I interpret an event or an interaction whereby I can either give away my agency or hold onto my sense of self objectively. I could sort of stare down what is threatening to make me afraid and decide how to react. With my past behind me, I am now trying to look back over my lifetime and see the times I’ve let something make me afraid. (too many for my own good, I think)

Yaconelli leads us to Isaiah 43:1 “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you” and; he suggests we insert our own name.

But now thus says the Lord,
God who created you, O Jacob Fa,
the Holy Birther who formed you, O Israel Child of My Heart:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

But what does it mean to be redeemed? Instead of the legalistic sin-satisfaction theory, I’d like to consider one of the other definitions for redeemed, such as:

“to discharge or fulfill (a pledge, promise,) or “to make up for; make amends for; offset (some fault, shortcoming,etc.)” 
The promise that God made to Abram is that if Abram would agree, they would enter an exclusive covenant relationship. Therefore, Isaiah is saying God would fulfill that promise in redeeming Abram (and if God would also redeem me, then God would promise to be in a covenant relationship with me too).
Or, to make amends for me would be to make up the ways that I fall short. That God would cover the gap in places that I fail to be enough or do enough; in that way God would redeem me.   If I could count on this kind of ‘coverage’ then I could be more consistent in not letting anything MAKE me afraid.

Meditations of the Heart (Thurman) Day 4

Howard Thurman explains that our prayers can accompany times of “dryness, of denials of emptiness” (21). He tells us that even the mystics are careful to point out that spiritual disciplines and exercises do not guarantee the “coming of the spirit” or awareness of the Presence.

I am struck by the truth of this.  I turned to the Psalms to find a plea for guidance in prayer, or rather, guidance in waiting for prayer to be answered.  I know that even as we wait, we go about our business attempting to do what God asks of us, and seeking ways to be faithful in our covenant with God.  I found Psalm 25 gave me new language in my impatient plea for help.  I have constructed a blessing for those of us who walk the way of pilgrimage, seeking direction in our daily lives.

Blessing for the Path God Gives (Psalm 25 reconsidered)

May the God who has always known you hold up your heart.
May the One who created your path kindly lead you to it.
May Love that draws us into a life of fullness save you from despair.
May you find your deepest truth, your own deep calling
as well as teachers and helpers and soul mates to guide you.

Patience and curiosity are your friends as you wait.
May the Creator of your body, soul and mind show you Love that has always been available to you.
Your indiscretions and moments of hate can be forgiven and redeemed.
The Holy One knows our human condition and is ready to forgive when sought.

God is mindful of you. God re-members you, dream by dream, as you follow your heart’s desire.
As a mother kindles her child, so God is tender to you.
As a father supports his child, so God instructs you.
May you be open to the wooing and the work before you.

May a spirit of divinity seep within your heart and soul
as God keeps the sacred covenant:
to be your God as you step forward in faithfulness.
Keep your feet directed by divine truth and clear of brambles.

May God watch over your body, soul and mind to redeem you from troubles.
May you arrive at the throne of humility and grace knowing the Holy One honors your struggles.
Shame is not part of God’s character, and you were made in God’s image.
May honor and wisdom visit you daily as you wait for God’s blessing.

Wooing a new earth

(Image retrieved from: )