Friday, October 22, 2004

Barren yet Full

OC says - "...but only simple perfect trust in God, such trust that we no longer want God's blessings, but only want Himself."
A friend who suffered from severe epilepsie came to this place of perfect trust when he was praying that God would heal him. He was stopped cold inthe middle of his prayer when God asked if he'd be willing to live with the seizures and rely on Him alone to deal with life. Dave took some time to get to the point where he could say yes, but when he did, he said he discovered what contentment really meant. He is content to live with epilepsy because Jesus is all he needs. It is a place of total barrenness yet total fullness in Christ.
The challenge may be greater for those of us who do not face such difficulties. We can live on our own steam, without pain or embarassment or fear. Yet we do not know that full barrenness.
This reminds me of a poem I wrote many years ago, just after we moved from the Yukon to Saskatchewan and I was coninually faced with a landscape that seemed empty. This is what I wrote -

First, I chose a field among my northern hills,
a few acres of hay to stand in;
tried to imagine tall and waving wheat, a sky
not held by hill or mountain, a taking wind
tasting of dust;
tried to place myself
at the centre
of what I'd heard was there.
but on arriving, was not
prepared for absence
of comfort from
curving hill,
softness of hovering trees,
constancy of muted light and falling
sheltering shadow.
Then stood on prairie's edge, peering,
studying lines of intersection:
to land, to fence, to road, to
train track, to elevator, to
. to land, to fence, to road...
in the seeking found
a fascination
in seeing,
in emptiness
what is completely full.

Blessings in barrenness to you all. M


Becca said...

I have problems living away from mountains. Every summer vacation that took us through the prairies, we'd look forward to the moment on the trip back when we were within sight of the mountains, then among them again. Nothing to make me smile like my old friends.

I think I might find the spiritual barrenness easier to handle.

Marci said...

I know what you mean - when we moved to SK. I felt kind of panicky - like a baby who's used to being wrapped up securely in a blanket and suddenly finds herself out in the open with nothing but space around her.