Consolation (January 26, 2012)

…Opening To…

It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us: it is the very sign of His presence. (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain)

…Listening In…

You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy so that my whole being might sing praises to you and never stop. LORD, my God, I will give thanks to you forever. (Psalm 30:11-12; context)

…Filling Up…

Whereas desolation makes the soul a wasteland, consolation makes the soul a garden in full bloom. In consolation, the roots of our souls grow deep in the rich soil of God’s presence. We are aware of the persistent activity of creation, and we revel in the joys that life has to offer.

Sometimes, our determination brings consolation to us: a young girl is told she’ll never become a concert pianist. Her hands are too small, her technique mediocre, pedestrian. But she practices and practices and practices. Her joy is in the vibration of hammer on string buzzing up through her fingertips, in the notes transferred from black dots and squiggles to tones of weight and beauty. She may never play at Carnegie Hall, but the music is inside her soul.

Sometimes, as with desolation, external events bring consolation to us: the city-dweller finds himself in rural woodland at night. The sky is clear, the moon a sliver. He lies on his back and gazes up at the stars. He didn’t know there were so many. The subtle band of the Milky Way brings shape to the clutter. The innumerable points of light in the darkness bring light to his soul.

More often than not, consolation happens when we gather together all of the small blessings in our lives. A good night’s sleep leads to energy and cheerfulness. An unexpected phone call comes from an old friend. The house is warm. Chicken for dinner again! Each blessing enriches the soil, in which our souls thrive, and our gardens bloom with unrestrained life.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you have given me a heart that beats in time with the rhythm of your grace. Help me to live everyday feeling the joy that rhythm. In Jesus Christ’s name Pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, and wherever I am – whether in the garden or the wasteland – I pray that you help me see your presence in my life.

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