Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hermitage Guests, Thoughts, and Some Answers

"But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.'"

How Jesus reassures us!

A visitor and her three daughters stopped by the hermitage a little while ago.  

Rarely does anyone stop here, and this one's question was how to celebrate the Summer Solstice.  She figured I would have some suggestions, as she put it, since I am "so spiritual."  I explained that what I am celebrating is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi:  The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  I admitted I had forgotten it was the solstice, but that I don't celebrate solstices but try to celebrate daily the love of God, all the people God has created, and His beautiful earth--including the sun and the seasons such as summer.

Later, upon asking her what ideas she had for this longest day of the year, she mentioned a lovely time with her daughters, doing something relaxing and in a way of bringing up conversation through soaking their feet in a big tub, together, and then painting their toenails.  I commented how lovely this, with daylight going well into the night.  Spontaneous thoughts may come from her daughters, since the foot bath will be relaxing; and the nail painting will distract the outer and allow more of the inner to surface.

Being exhausted from a busy day with Raphael and his men here, stripping shingles from the rest of the roof and helping to rebuild the wall, I had to excuse myself from my evening guests, after we had discussed awhile whatever the mother wished to discuss.  She wants prayers for a man who resurfaced in her life; they have a coffee date coming in a few days, and I promised I would pray for God's will and a delightful time.

It is invaluable to accept people where their point of need shows itself.  And, practicing this next thought, more, lately, I asked the Lord why these guests and what of this encounter could be His lesson or point.  Into the thoughts came the reminder that the seasons are His and to enjoy the created earth, sun, moon, stars--and this longest day of the year:  summer solstice.  I was oblivious of  the solstice, my mind geared to Christian holy days.  God loves, and I love!

I also could relate with many of the hermits whose lives I have read.  They did not like having guests, at least in phases of their hermit lives.  It can seem an intrusion of the silence and solitude, and of His Real Presence in the stillness.  But God is in the four souls who entered through the gate and knocked on this door.  He reminded me by their visit, to pray for each one:   God's will be done.

As for more thoughts on what is God's dream for me, He is giving me glimmers.  It is sorting itself out.  I was reminded today of my purpose in life (asked of me years ago by Dr. H. who wanted to be of assistance in helping me accept a life of pain and suffering).  

My purpose is to glorify God.  Back then, Dr. H. did not exactly expect that answer from me after I prayed about it for a few days.  But that was the answer God gave me as to the purpose.  One of my children printed out a huge paper banner with that written:  Our purpose is to glorify God!  We tacked it to our family room wall, right above the hospital bed in which I spent three months following nearly three weeks in the hospital, post back surgery.

Glorify God.  But what is God's dream for me?  That is different than the purpose, or so it seemed when meditating and praying today.  His dream has to do with how our purpose will be lived out, unfold, in our lifetimes.  So the answer came, that has been an answer for some time:  Teach others the spiritual and write of the spiritual:  of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I am reminded that I do not navigate the world well at all.  But I do far better navigating the spiritual realm, and in that I can help and serve God and others (the Body of Christ).  Granted, not many are interested or think much of the spiritual realm in a very practical, everyday sense, much less want to learn to navigate it.  

But today, as the woman and her three daughters left, she mentioned that the man she is meeting for coffee, has Catholic background and prays.  Perhaps she spoke in response to my celebrating Corpus Christi and having forgotten the summer solstice. Perhaps she wanted to verbally connect and relate.  Regardless, she grasps more that "spiritual" means in my purpose and existence very much Christian, delighting in religious celebrations and prayer, and attempting to live all for God.

This short visit was a first experience of having conscious awareness of God's dream for me, and of trying to graciously fulfill it with the visitors.  And now, I am writing of it.  Why I did not ask years ago what is God's dream for me, or why it took a major surgery, death experience, and life change to ask God what is my purpose, I do not know other than I was caught up in attempting very poorly to navigate the world. The Holy Trinity reached in with the reality of the mystical and spiritual realm of God's eternity.  He increasingly focuses my attention by His stripping the other away, more and more.

God bless His Real Presence in us!  I pray we each now--or soon--have some answers as to our God-given purpose and then also what is His dream for us in the way we are to live it out.  Desire to know; ask, and He will answer us.

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