Saturday, November 27, 2004

Cleaning out my ears

The last couple of nights, as I've sat here wrestling with my 1000 word paper (which at 1097 has just been emailed to my peer editor), I've been moved to pray in ways that I haven't been able to very well since moving here. Usually my liturgical music reflection each week is a grind - boring to write and probably to read - but tonight, here's how it opened:

I went back to the chapel tonight to check last week’s ordo and get the appropriate hymnal for my reflection, and as I skimmed through the hymns from last week, I turned to 458, “My song is love unknown”. I’m fairly sure this is the one I had intended to write about anyway, but sitting in the freshly cleaned and greened, empty chapel that night, I knew that was the right hymn. I had helped earlier in the day to oil pews and fix candles to them, so I had seen the chapel decorated, but not like this, alone, at night, bathed in the soft chapel lighting, fragrant with evergreen. At that moment, my song was indeed love unknown, and that in a marvelous way.

This palpable sense of God's love has been absent from my life for awhile - I've been angry at God, confused by God, on good days even sensed God's love in people around me - but not directly like that for a few months at least. Last night as I was reading some treatise or another, being frustrated, something I came across - I wish I could remember what - influenced me just to close my eyes for a few minutes and listen. And I realized, in those few minutes, how much I've been trying to do it all on my own the last couple of months. I don't know whether it's because I've been angry and confused with God much of the time, or what - I haven't really been conscious of it. But I realized that it's not necessarily my job to know what's coming next all the time or why - it's my job to trust. To trust that just as God led me here in the first place, God will continue to lead me where I need to be - whether I understand that or not.

I don't know exactly why I was able to listen like that last night when I haven't been able to the last couple of months, but it was a relief, both to be able to hear God's voice as loving again, and to remember that God is trustworthy and isn't supposed to be comprehensible.

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