Saturday, January 14, 2012

Trust and gratitude

"Although we are incapable of liberating ourselves from our frozen anger, we can allow ourselves to be found by God and healed by his love through the concrete and daily practice of trust and gratitude" (Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son 84).

Beautiful words a relative I know might scoff at. Yet I think she works on finding positive currents in her life, although healing through and through isn't something she believes in. She's too scarred. Life just hasn't been that easy. She's too angry about circumstances; He really doesn't even seem there much of the time. Some words about God are simply surface beautiful. Like a maple tree emblazoned and then bare.

I validate that way of thinking. But, I would hate to stop there. For example, I have a habit of staring at recipes in my recipe books, wondering if the recipes are possible, visualizing myself purchasing ingredients, imagining that first taste. But, invariably, I decide that the recipe isn't worth much effort; that my boys wouldn't like it; that I can't coordinate the shopping with the making with the time.  My book becomes shelved once again.

However, every so often, I have a breakthrough! The book comes off the shelf, I open it, and I follow the guidance and instruction in order to come up with a dish. Many times, not always, it is tasty and my cooking experience has expanded for good.

I often wonder why, with God, we want to shelf him. Even if we're not desirous of active seeking, or if we become suspicious of beautiful pictures or words, or if there's some ingredient we don't like which the spiritual life calls for, to me, we simply lack courage. There is a necessary courage to trust that what we find will be good, regardless of what others think or experience. There is a courage to practice gratitude in the face of mountains.

May we be brave today. And be open to God's desire for us. If we have a small amount of belief, let us be courageous enough to follow that to the promised feast of healing and life for today.


1 comment:

nsp said...

Soothing and beautiful words. I just watched the movie 'Tree of Life' yesterday. Your words about the maple tree reminded me of how we see only glimpses of HIS glory.