Our prayers shape our beliefs. Our beliefs shape our actions, with God’s help. Our actions shape our world. This month’s first devotion spoke of new beginnings and the Feast of the Holy Name. Then we looked to a guiding star for direction. Midmonth, civil rights activist Howard Thurman encouraged us in the fallow time of the spirit. Last week, the story of Jonah sweetened the importance of making room for God. You can read it here.
The season of expectant waiting, Advent, culminated in the birth of Christ. Christ is the One for whom we have waited, our savior from worldly clamors! Yet as we continue observing the liturgical season after Epiphany, and our chronological season of winter, we discover that God wants to reveal more to us.
Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!
“I am confident that there is no future for the modern world, unless it can understand that it has not mearly to seek what is more and more exciting, but rather the yet more exciting business of discovering the excitement in things that are called dull.”
--G. K. Chesterton, The Spice of Life
“I do nothing. I take Merton’s advice and do nothing, just let all this saturate me, wait for it to tell me what to do. I watch, experience, listen to the things about me… I am just here…. Stillness, stillness…. Everything waits, suspended in calm, and underneath—a profound ravishment of the senses, the nerves, as one senses the perceptible inner healing. You wait, Tom said. You don’t go rushing after what is already there. You wait, give it time, give it time gradually to reveal itself in you. Nothing is lost. No time is wasted.”
--From The Hermitage Journals by John Howard Griffin, who speaks of an encounter with the American trappiest monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist and scholar of comparative religion Thomas Merton.
Narrative and photograph by Stephanie Shareck Werner, © 2021.