I breathe in your presence—You—
Do you breathe me in, too?
With arms, I gather to my heart Heaven,
Angel wings carry me Somewhere,
A candle light flickers in the Wind—
From where, to where, I do not know—
Words take form in cloudburst:
“I Love You”
How can this darkness
Hold such promise? Such comfort?
How can exile hold the vision of Home?
… a tomb herald resurrection?
… loss birth such Love?
Do I dream this stormy Love-message?
Can it be true?
That this is for me? From you?
How can such Love be so gentle, yet, blissfully tumultuous?
How can such taking away
Lead a soul to enjoy so much more?
One drop of blood from the Sky onto my tongue
And I reply, “Yes!”
A flower sprouts
From the crusty, broken ground.
Into my open hand,
This greening Life finds its rest.
You find rest in
Some other hand then holds my heart
And every lost love, or never gotten love,
Dissolves into Someplace—
I know not where—
One tear flows from my eye
Mingled with all the joy and all the sadness I have known
And I tastes Eternity—like what I do not know—
And I say, “Yes!”
And you say,
“In all this sadness and in all this joy, alike,
you have found me. Now, I have made your heart
pliant to receive me in all things.
How could you have rightly enjoyed my gifts,
If I had not withheld them to bring you to me myself?
How could you have enjoyed my Presence, if I had let you
Find satisfaction in another?”
I breathe in your presence—You.
This is enough. In this Light all else finds meaning for me,
Even the loss, the death, the dreams that broke my heart,…
“Brian, I breathe in you, too.
Enjoy. Enjoy, all of me.”
How can this jar of clay receive and contain
such closeness, without falling apart from the ecstasy
and bliss?—going out of myself I find you
Is it not true, my Love,
That so great a Love must divest me of all else,
Even myself of myself,
So that I become, with you, the Love that gives Life?
I am a windowpane
Through whom you now
Shine; my body has become
The ultimate purpose of the human Journey is to enjoy the Presence in all things and all things in the Presence. Painful yet fortunate dark nights we pass through, with their repeated taking from our affections the lesser enjoyments and loves we have held close, leading us more deeply into the One. The more intimately we become with the One, not through intellect but through love, the more intimately we become with all creation. We begin, through this process, not only to believe that all things live in God, we grow increasingly to feel this Aliveness, and all else can either be held close or released, for they find a place with us only in their sharing with us the Presence. Indeed, we come to a readiness to release anything that would be between the Presence and us. Rather than seeking the Presence as another that will give us what we feel we need, we live in the Presence as one with us and, then, what we need flows from that sharing. And, moving into the Presence, the Presence brings us the gift to say “Yes” to all that comes to us, and in that “Yes” we find Life and Joy.
I am ready to be readied to receive what you have for me today. Gentle me not to grasp; tame my passions so to receive with calm and gratitude your quiet Presence and comforting Word. Patient me not to rush, not to yield to busyness, but enable me to live gracefully, fully in this present, through your Presence. Whatever I face, I know I can handle, if I live in your Presence. Help me not to close down on anyone, or anything. Help me not so to distrust myself and my efforts that I judge needlessly what I see as my failures. Rather, help me see and accept myself as you see and accept me and, thereby, see and accept all. Yes.
OneLife Ministries is a pastoral outreach and nurture ministry of the First United Methodist Church, Fort Meade, FL. For Spiritual Direction, Pastoral Counseling, spiritual formation workshops, Christian meditation retreats, or more information about OneLife, write Rev. Dr. Brian K. Wilcox at firstname.lastname@example.org.