Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 14

I want to share a quote a friend recently commented about. It's from a book called The Way of The Heart by Henri Nouwen (which is on my list to read).

To borrow my friend's words the following quote helps me see that the initial sabotage that solitude brings to me is something that I do not face alone.

"In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me, naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken, nothing. It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude. A nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something.

But that is not all. As soon as I decide to stay in my solitude, confusing ideas, disturbing images, wild fantasies, and weird associations jump about in my mind like monkeys in a banana tree. Anger and greed begin to show their ugly faces. I give long, hostile speeches to my enemies and dream lustful dreams in which I am wealthy, influential, and very attractive - or poor, ugly, and in need of immediate consolation.

Thus I try again to run from the dark abyss of my nothingness and restore my false self in all its vain glory.

The task is to persevere in my solitude, to stay in my cell until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and leave me alone......"

WOW. That so speaks to me. What are my seductive visitors? Shame, guilt, anxiety, stress, not saying no, wild fantasies about what I have or do not have, and I could go one.

Today's Reflection: Lord in my nothingness I reach out to you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Protect my mind and my emotions. Use this time for Your glory. Help me persevere in my solitude. Help me stand firm and not let the enemy attack me with his labels of shame and guilty and anxiety and greed. In you I am clean and made righteous. Nothing I did or could do makes me clean before You. It's only by Your grace that I am saved through faith. Make me teachable Lord so I may not only hear Your voice, but obey it. That I reach out to Your voice and grab it and embrace it and hold it close to my heart.

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