Early most mornings a friend and I catch up with each other on how God, Father, Son & Holy Spirit are speaking to us through our prayer. This often gives me a focal point for the day or a bit of a course correction, or another way of looking at something read, or heard. I do love diving into Hallow. While going through the early steps on my journey home to the Catholic Faith I remember writing to someone about the Pearl of Great Price, how I’d found it, and was going for it. Sometimes it seems as though I’ve squandered this gift, and perhaps in someway I have. I could go through a whole range of feelings, and while feelings are fleeting they sometimes lead to actions. Okay that’s not a rabbit hole I want to go down.
So listening to the reflection on the Pearl of Great Price this morning the accusatory thoughts filled me that I am not courageous, not brave, not willing to give all I have for that Pearl. Ouch. And then my friend reminded me of both the habits of a lifetime that are, in some ways, challenging to overcome and give back to the Father for transformation, and that this habit has deep familial roots wherein habits and ideas of identity and relationship are formed. Perhaps what I heard wasn’t supposed to be accusatory, perhaps it is an area of life that the Holy Spirit is asking me to surrender through Jesus to the Father.
In prayer lately the idea of intimacy has come up over and over and over again. When the woman with the hemorrhage seeks healing by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment not only is she healed, but Jesus invites her into a relationship with him. He wants her to know that He sees her, knows her, loves her. When Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb she knows him when He speaks her name, “Mary.” Jesus tells Mary that she is seen, known, and loved. Our names connote a sense of intimacy and Jesus doesn’t let these opportunities for intimacy pass him by. Even with the Rich Young Ruler the invitation to intimacy is there, this young man rejects this – we don’t know if it was just in that moment or if he ever returned to Jesus.
Confession and Spiritual Direction are places of deep intimacy. Both the Confession and Spiritual Director are entrusted with the ever deeper parts of a person. Marriage is (or should be) a place of deep intimacy as we, over a lifetime, get to know our spouse and grow with one another. And friends. Oh friendship is essential in being seen, known, and loved. Some friends come into our lives for a short time, some for the long term. With some friends there is an intimacy that is rooted deeply; with others the roots are just below the surface permitting the friendship to spring up quickly, last for a while and wither.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time there is often a time lag in the writing. I’m often amazed at how underlying things are revealed. I nearly said, “with a little patience” I’m not certain patience had a whole lot to do with coming to some unexpected clarity in this so quickly. Through reflection and in writing what I came to understand is this for me is multifaceted and all interconnected and teasing it out to get to what’s really going on and work on both the healing and dealing with the stuff underneath is going to take some time. It’ll take some time as part of this means that I get to work on better habits, can now recognize what’s going on, and seek guidance and direction from friends, seeking help from a place of vulnerability and intimacy and spilling out my heart to Jesus.
This call to intimacy is affirmed again later this week in and through the prayer time reflections. That call to know and experience that I am seen and known, and loved. Not just the parts I see as beautiful and agreeable, but also those parts that are misshapen and in need of work and healing; those parts that are downright disagreeable and in need of deep transformation. And even those that are downright annoying to me. God loves those too. I could go on though I think you get the point.
When I design and begin free-motion quilting some design that’s lived in the space between my ears for ages, and ages there is a time when I want to stuff the quilt in the nearest trash bin because its become completely unruly and doesn’t conform to that image in my head. We have several conversations along the way wherein I mostly yield to the needs of the quilt and the quilt becomes better for my yielding. I trusted Moon Over Manhattan to become something other than how I saw it. I fought Moon hard, telling it no, no no. When I said yes…well I’ll let you enjoy.
I have a quilt in mind designed with the moon in mind and I can hardly wait to get started on this beauty. The background is a batik linen and well I’m following the “Blessed are the Surprisable for they will be surprised” model of quilting. I will be drawing in some kind of arc as the beginning of the framework for what I have in mind. And yes, there’s more in mind than I’m saying. I want to get some of the details worked out before sharing bits and snippets of the quilt as I work. For now I’m going to head to the sewing room and get some quilting done before the guy I’m married to for 29 years and 10 months comes home from work and would like to have dinner and hold hands.
May the Lord give you the gift of His peace,