Friday, March 28, 2008

Ivy

ivy01

Over at Finding Grace Within, Shannon writes, as part of a striking and necessary post about something else altogether, "I'll write about Easter soon, before I forget it. Really."

I think I'd better take heed, and write something about it myself, before I forget. Only I thought it through, and it seemed to me that an account of the services we held - things we did, conversations I had - would probably be much like most of my readers' Easters; and anyway such things have been described much better than I could manage, by people all over the Catholic and Anglican blogospheres.

No, what has really happened over this Easter has been hidden, silent mostly. I think what God has been showing me is that his love for me is all I need to know: that that love breaks through into my life at the Cross, and lifts it into his arms with the Resurrection. He will never let me go.

All this stuff about prayer boils down to this. What I am really doesn't matter. There isn't any holiness in me. Of myself, I really am not, truly, anything more than little, and ordinary; and anything praiseworthy about me only consists in the extent to which I am prepared to acknowledge that, and to live in the shadows, quietly, like the ivy I love so much. All my health and growth depends on accepting that.

There is no struggle in this now, but a blessed hope, and a kind of love that wells up and catches my breath, and fills my eyes with tears. Most of my life I haven't really known what love is, and still I don't; but in me now Jesus loves, and all I feel are the eddies of that deep current.

It's time to let go of a lot of things; and yet it isn't a time for heroic gestures, grand austerities, but for little turnings to that hidden track that leads out between the trees, away from the lights and the music and the excited voices.

It feels odd to be writing this in such a public place, somehow, rather than in a letter to a close friend or spiritual director. I have thought about this; and it's not an appeal for warm, supportive comments - I honestly am trying to think this through.

[picture courtesy of Oxford University School of Geography]

5 comments:

  1. Thanks, Mike. I was hit by you writing "Most of my life I haven't really known what love is, and still I don't;"--how true that is for me. And somehow God is breaking down the walls. From the lectionary reading of John this week--I'm not in that locked room quaking in fear and loneliness anymore. Only through grace have I been released. . . .and continue to be. Thanks be to God.

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  2. 'Have I ever asked anything but littleness of you, .little one?' That has been a question, more than once from our Lord (to me).

    Thank you for your beautiful humility Mike. It is inspirational. We are nothing without God.

    And, ivy is beloved here as well...
    God bless,
    kelly

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  3. I have read this so many times, but have yet to comment on it.

    All I can say is this- your words resonate deeply within my heart.

    Thank you.
    Fran

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  4. Thank you, people! Sorry not to have replied sooner - I've had a lot of rather non-bloggy thinking to do these last few days. Of which more later...

    Mike

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