Thursday, March 17, 2011

"That is when I want you-
you knower of my emptiness,
you unspeaking partner to my sorrow-
that is when I need you, God, like food."

Last weekend my husband was asked to speak at a Lenten retreat on the topic: Silence and the Wilderness. He was chosen primarily because we live in a yurt out of the city, and it can easily be assumed that in our little wilderness there is the silence that invites God to speak. Unfortunately for my husband, that silence is often filled by my voice instead of God's - I haven't quite mastered Silence.

He decided not to speak on our life, and to focus instead on St. Mary of Egypt - a desert mother of the 4th century who began her adult life as a prostitute. She loved her work so much that she rarely charged and made most of her living begging, but when she encountered Christ, she fell so completely in love with Him that she abandoned not only prostitution, but society in general, and embraced the silence of the desert where she could be "alone enough/ to make each hour holy" (Rilke). Our little wilderness is nothing compared to this complete solitude, but it does help to bring God closer. I need him here in the silence to share the beauty of the snow, to point out the ever-changing sky, and to allow me to lose myself in the richness of the world.

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