Thursday, September 18, 2003

An inner spaciousness

I've been trying to wait until Advent to post this link to an article about Mary written by Rev Dr Peg Schultz-Akerson. But I want to quote excerpts from it now.
Mary models a deep wisdom. She knows the delight of opening wide to an emptiness within us that isn't a void but a spaciousness. A void connotes an unfortunate loss or lack. Spaciousness is intentional. It invites the possibility of relationship. It makes room for a holy hunger, a yearning to be filled with the Christ who hungers to come also to us.

Holy hunger is arrived at by a decisive refusal to let the inner chambers of our hearts be filled with anything less than God's word of life. This is a refusal trained by the experience of knowing how sweet it is to wait for real bread.

It can be frightening to deal with emptiness, which has the taste of loneliness. It tugs at our need to feel accomplished and full. It can set us into a panic to find something to take the pangs away, to hush our fear of vulnerability and nothingness. But emptiness is the shape a manger takes. A vase can hold no rose if it has no space within.
Pr Peg then describes how she reminds herself to attend to this empty space.
In our cluttered lives, we must find ways to make friends with the emptiness with which spaciousness begins. In my home I created a sacred space, which can be made in any room, even in a garden, car or office. My sacred space (a bedroom dresser top) is decked with a candle, a small empty bowl, a Bible, a cross, a handmade rabbit, a vase and a book of days to record birthdays of people to remember in prayer. I also have shells, a pen and small pieces of paper for writing prayer concerns. Even walking by this ever-evolving outward space triggers a sense of savoring the sacred space within.
Published in The Lutheran, December 1997.

(There may be some empty spaces on this weblog in the coming days.)

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