Sunday, March 04, 2007

WHAT IS THE CONTEMPLATIVE TRADITION?

Reflection Question: Think of a moment in your life when you felt very close to God. Can you describe the setting (what were you doing and your surroundings) as well as the experience?

9 comments:

Jemila Monroe said...

Most of my closest intimacies with God have occurred while praying or ministering to someone else. Once when I was working a shift during Clinical Pastoral Education, I was praying for a woman who had cancer. I didn't know how to pray, but I just tried to open to God and attune to her need, and I started praying something about Gardens, and I don't garden or talk about gardening or know anything about it, other than the satisfaction of weeding my mother's garden as a child. And when I opened my eyes, the woman was crying because she loved gardens, and my prayer was a comfort to her. How would I have known that? So in God answering that woman through me, I felt very intimate with God.

Amy said...

One afternoon I was studying for a group research paper and an idea began working in my mind. I stopped working and started just meditating. In the midst of this, God just met me. I spend about an hour in that spot. It was...amazing.

Nancy said...

Most of my more intense encounters with God have been during times of prayer and meditation. However, a recent memory I have is a wonderful example of God's closeness to me.

I had taken a weekend to contemplate the potential "feminine wounds" to my soul caused by patriarchy. I had written a poem and done some drawing to explore what God had revealed to me as a "loss of night vision". I took a break to stop at a friend's shop where he sells his stained glass art and some awesome jewelry. I was thinking I would look for a moonstone necklace as a symbol of my wound and healing...I have some moonstone ear rings and thought a necklace would be perfect. I was chatting with the owner as he was showing me some changes he had made to the store. Meanwhile, I checked out his offerings in moonstone but nothing had caught my eye. I was standing over another case while he was showing me something he had altered when I looked down and immediately noticed a ceramic sculpture with a card entitled "Night Vision"! It was a mother and fledgling owl. Of course, I freaked and then shared with my friend what I had been up to and we had the most excellent conversation about patriarchy in the church and he was totally empathetic and supportive. Just a sweet, sweet encouargement from God. I call this sort of thing a "Divine Fingerprint" and I pay close attention to them.

Of course, I bought the little sculpture. : )

lisa said...

Every once in a while I find that as I wake up in the morning, when I am in that 'tween stage when full consciousness has not come but I'm not really asleep either, I become acutely aware of God's presence. It's as if I feel Love hovering very close. In a wordless kind of way I feel that God and I whisper to each other about how we feel for one another. I think those mystical moments are some of my closest to God moments.

Jemila Monroe said...

Lisa, that's profoundly lovely.

lisa said...

yea, it's too bad i can't make these moments happen. i would want them more often but there doesn't seem to be any way that i induce them. i feel close to God at other times, but those are really precious times... my favorite times.

Amy said...

Lisa, that is a beautiful image. It would be nice if we could influence when God meets us in such special ways. Like you, though, I'm profoundly grateful for these special moments.

Lori said...

I have found God to be most tangibly near during "dramatic moments"--under stress, in pain, etc. (of course, that's also when he's most tangibly absent...) Anyhow, I do sense God's presence often throughout the day (especially when it's sunnny!) but I tend to notice it less when it's part of the routine of life. I'm trying to practice gratitude, and in that space, where I'm continually thanking him, I find I've become increasingly aware of his presence in the mundane days of life.

Carri said...

Memorial Day weekend 4 years ago, I think, I spent the weekend with a close friend at a lake cottage. On Sunday a small group of people from home joined us, one of them brought a guitar. That afternoon we played - like children- wiffle ball, swinging on swings, it was wonderful fun. Then we went out on a pontun (?) boat for a few hours and we sang worship songs in the middle of the lake. It was perfect atmosphere where my heart has been so open to GOD.