Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Cloud of Unknowing

The Cloud of Unknowing was written anonymously by a 14th century author, for monks.  But this Mom is benefitting alongside of many other pilgrims in prayer. 

I take hold of that cloud and delve in.  The Cloud of Unknowing is where you come to Father God.  It is simple, because you don't have to have an image of God in your mind.  You come to him in a great cloud and direct all of your love into his presence.  You approach him as the unseen God.  All of your anxious thoughts and distractions, you place them under a "cloud of forgetting".  Then using a word that captures the essence of your prayer, you direct your word into the cloud and open yourself to however God desires to reveal himself.  "One little gasp contains the height, depth, width, and breadth of the spirit." (The Cloud of Unknowing edited by Bernard Bangley)

This is a way for me to pursue relationship with Abba God, which has often not come very naturally to me.  I more often come to Jesus in prayer.  But I love being opened to the mystery of the fullness of the Godhead.  And when you take all pressure off of yourself to try and imagine or picture what God looks like, you are presenting yourself to God, as he is.  It provides a spacious place to get to know him without preconceived ideas about what he is like.  What we think Father God is like can sometimes block us from who he truly is, and who he wants to be for us.

So I take a word, LOVE, and I direct it into the cloud.  Over and again, this simple prayer, LOVE.  Or, TRUST.  Many words don't have a place here.  It is simple devotion to the heart of God from your heart.  And then you find yourself in the presence, and in the presence of God, his mystery beckons you to deeper places with him.  And then you start to feel his heart and receive from him.  You are open to whatever he wants to share with you in this great cloud of his presence.

How do you experience God as Father?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Exploring the Invitation of Jesus

Ever since I don't know, I have been drawn to prayer and the rest of Jesus.  But when you are a Mom of three little kiddies under the age of 5, you sometimes wonder how you are ever going to find the time?  Real time to spend with Jesus.  Like not groggy waking up, forcing open the eyelids after a night of up and down to spend 10 minutes in the word kind of time - on a good day!  Like not closing your eyes for a few moments getting a prayer in edge-ways only to be asked, "Mommy, why are your eyes closed?" 

I am sure that God meant for us to experience his presence in the day to day of life.  And I am sure that he is so creative he can come up with a great variety of ways to know relationship with him and that it doesn't always have to look like the traditional version of what "Quiet Time" brings to mind.  Waking up early, quiet space to spend time uninterrupted with your Saviour?  Uninterrupted is a rare beautiful thing in my life at the moment.  Hence the desire to open up a blog discussion on prayer for the busy ones.  Prayer for the run-around-in-the-rat-race but longing-for-Jesus children.  So I am going to do a series on the exploration of prayer and I welcome all your input.  Every one of your - this is how I do it stories.  All of your ways you find to "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

For starters, I open up with the Secret Garden:
I have been given an ornate and antique key.  I hold it around my neck.  There is a secret garden that is for me alone to access.  The door is covered with creepers, but I lift the creepers and unlock the door, turn the handle, and... I'm in.  Jesus is always waiting for me.  The garden is eternal, because it holds the past, present and future of my walk with God.  I sit on a bench next to Jesus and we hold each other's hands and look into each other's faces.  There is so much to be said without saying a word.  Sometimes I kneel before him with my head in his lap and pour out my tears, concerns and sorrows.  Other times we go for a walk and he shows me what is growing, what is being pruned, cut, weeded, what is being sown.  There is intimacy as we walk hand in hand.  There is sharing, heart to heart.

What does your Secret Place with God look like?