Just a little bit of an opening. That was my prayer as I went to sleep. That I would find just a little bit of an opening for God to enter. It’s hard for God to reach us when we don’t allow a way in. We can’t participate in the Mystery when our hearts are closed to it. We have to have some fraction of receptivity, no matter how small. A chink the size of a mustard seed will do. God can do big things with a mustard seed. But we have to bring our willingness to bear.
It’s been hard to find that willingness. My seminary coursework has wreaked havoc with my faith. How’s that for an irony! I went into it wanting to know more about God. What I’ve found is how humanly constructed religion is. Yet there’s a truth that transcends human manipulation, a truth that underlies all our theories and beliefs. That unknowable truth — that’s God. All religions point to that. All humanity yearns for that, no matter the veneer of cynicism we adopt. We all want to know we make a difference. That we matter in the world. That there’s some force or energy that’s with us, despite all appearances to the contrary.
All we have to do is ask. It amazes me every time, how simple the solution is. When I ask for God’s presence, it’s there. But it has to be a real asking, a real openness, a willingness to let go of the blocks that stand in my way. Somewhere in the depths of my being I cling to pain and brokenness. Prayer is asking a presence far vaster that this tortured mind to help me find my way to wholeness. Wholeness is there, waiting for me. I only have to remember.
This particular day I remembered when I saw the new leaves of summer shining on the sycamore tree at a nearby park. I lay on a bench beneath its branches, gazing up at emerald beauty so complete it made a lie of the internal anguish I’d been feeling. There is no separation between that beauty and our own hearts. We all belong here. We all matter. God is remembering that — over and over and over again.