To God With Love18 Nov 2014
In my bedside table drawer is a collection of prayer journals amassed over many years and filled with reflections during prayer and with dialogue between myself and God. Once the last page has been written in, the journal is then moved to its new home in the drawer and a new journal is begun. Those old prayer journals rarely get re-opened, but in the last few days I’ve been flicking through some of them and finding messages I still need to hear. One entry from a few years ago has particularly spoken to me anew:
Don’t mistake the voice of guilt for mine. Continue to be in relationship with me, and that distinction will become clearer. I have called you to be formed in my image and to become fire. Listen deeply wherever you find yourself. Continue to be baptised and immersed in the deep waters of my love. It is that experience alone that can change people’s hearts and lives. Have life in all its fullness now. The kingdom is now. For you. Because I delight in you. So live it. Don’t cling to the pleasures, but don’t cling to the pain either. Just be deeply present in all of it. I am in it with you.
Other entries leave me feeling disconcerted: disconcerted at my own bolshiness towards God, and disconcerted by God’s response! Others are yet to receive a response. And others can still bring me to my knees in tears.
Why are you sitting up the back? You can come closer. You’re not in the way. You are my child. Yes, I notice you. But sometimes you wouldn’t let me near your wounds. You held on to them, scared, thinking no-one else would notice or care. You don’t have to heal yourself. Let me touch your wounds. Let yourself be gazed upon with love and delight.
Reading over these prayer journals, I have seen God walking with me in my life – in the questions I have asked (and in those I have been too afraid to ask), in the answers I have received and in the thanks I have given for the people in my life and the experiences I have had.Christina Rocha is a Canberra writer and lawyer.