February 10th, 2004


Treasuring up

The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other people’s souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you completely— to the very last drop. But be careful to replenish your supply, or you will quickly be utterly exhausted. Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and sheep, as well as for Him.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (9 February, "Are You Exhausted Spiritually?")

Ironic that this encouragement would come in a peaceful time, when I feel more rested and energetic. Good to remember that in war, the peaceful moments are times of waiting and preparation, even as they are also to be savored.

Also good to know there are explanations, definitions, languages, purpose for my experiences, for who I am. Not that this has been in doubt; that's no small grace. I'm surprised only by what I've overlooked, but knowing my penchant for digging in, the very fact that I've missed these pieces until now is unlikely to be accidental. Some gifts were meant to be given rather than simply discovered. I am thankful, alongside a myriad of other feelings.

No Community Group tonight, as we are having a potluck at the boys' place in Wallingford this Saturday (bubble window!). It's easier for me to relax when I know there'll be a stretch of time in which to do so. Four uncommitted nights in a row (Saturday through tonight) is almost unprecedented. No wonder I've felt so rested.

Wow. So much.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

—Luke 2:19
  • Current Music
    Michael Nyman, "Now That You're Here" (from the Gattaca soundtrack)


I am God's wheat ground fine by the lion's teeth to be made purest bread for Christ.

—Ignatius of Antioch, Second century

This morning, my soul searched in prayer more than I have in some time. Not the struggling, painful searching that often must be the path on this side of heaven, but the contemplative wonder that recognizes at once how far beyond He is and how very near He has drawn to us and has drawn us to Him, that recognizes His Spirit upholds mine and that I never pray alone. My prayers themselves are weak vessels— fractured, fragmented, forgetful things. Yet He is at work.

Decided to leave home early and make a detour to the Chapel of St. Ignatius before work. It's been a long time, only once since the Year of Hell. The space itself is beautiful, inspiring, sacred. I spent a number of mornings there while I was at Seattle University, and many nighttime walks led me inside its walls. Today I had some new questions, yet unformed, and I didn't need answers, only to ask. It was time to return.

Not surprisingly in hindsight, I crossed the path of an old colleague during my time in the chapel, who invited me to join in their regular morning prayer service. Perhaps this will become a part of my routine.

Much of my private prayer time was spent here, always my favorite room within the chapel. The smell of beeswax sets it apart somehow; the prayers etched in its walls are simple and right. For me, it is a place of intimate presence. It was good to return.
  • Current Music
    Iona, "Divine Presence"