Reading Smith as lectio divina (slow prayerful reading) today, several phrases stand out:
“ordinary [people] struggling to be faithful to a hidden God.”
“the common way of faith lives with a deep sense of vulnerability.”
“…refusal of the way of power, a refusal he will have to repeat again and again.”
and from his prayer:
“…deepen my awareness of your indwelling and the priceless gift of intimacy with the Father that is already mine…”
What words or phrases shimmer for you? And how do these particular phrases above speak to your own experience?
The common way of faith is laden with a deep sense of vulnerability, says Smith. Yet so often we have been taught that true faith is a path of certainty. How do you respond when you feel most vulnerable? Do you feel like it is a failure of faith or a moment for faith to grow? A season of abandonment or of intimacy? What do you feel when God is hidden? – do you forget about [Him], whimsically (or fretfully) play hide-and-seek, or rest and wait? No answer is right, per se. But each will tell us something about ourselves and how securely attached we feel to God’s indwelling presence.
Where can you let the vulnerability in this Lent, simply let it be?
Sometimes it is fighting the vulnerability – a kind of grasping at power – that most exhausts us. Letting go that fight can, therefore, be a kind of Sabbath.
The SALT Project explored the connection between wilderness and Sabbath in a recent podcast, using the temptation of Jesus, a poem of Wendell Berry, and a painting by Henri Matisse. You can listen to the 20 minute podcast HERE.