inhale/exhale

I’ve been wanting to write since my first weekend “book out” from SOW, but somehow the thoughts have not been flowing. I feel like a clogged pipe – much like the image my cell group leader got when she prayed over me, much like my uncooperative nose/sinuses over the past week. Very unromantic. I think that pretty much sums up how I feel right now.

And yet I long to write – thoughts, feelings, memories are building up and threatening not so much to explode as to disappear altogether. *poof* trying to begin feels precariously like removing a single stone from the wall of a dam – you’re not quite sure if you’re going to be releasing a controlled stream of water, or whether you’ve gone and picked a stone that was critical in keeping the wall intact in the first place.

Here we go.

I think the most interesting and surprising thing about SOW so far is how much of who I am, or who I perceive myself to be, is built on lies, on less-than-truths, on self-taught or adopted beliefs that have come to shape who I am, but which actually hold me back from who I could be, and more importantly, who God is calling me to be, who He made me to be.

Yahweh God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’

Gen 2:18

It had never occurred to me before, that in the story of creation, after saying that God saw everything He had created to be good, there’s this one sneaky little line in there where God explicitly says something is not good. And that something is man being alone.

So after writing the above, I decided to drive down to church and go and spend some time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration, because I really felt so restless and ill at ease. And I’m happy to say that I’m in a very different, less clogged space now.

When I was done praying I walked down to the car park, and the sky took my breath away. A long time ago, I used to go up to the roof garden we have in my church, usually in the middle of the night, and just lie on a bench there and stare at the stars. And I would pick a star that was calling out to me, and I would pray. My church is blessed to be in an area which has almost no high-rise buildings nearby, and just about as little light pollution as you’ll find in any residential area in Singapore. And so I would lie there with nothing between me and God’s great sky, and feel so distinctly that God was right there, staring down at me and embracing me with the night sky.

It’s been so long since I last did this that I had almost forgotten about it, until a few weeks ago, my cell group leader asked me to do something that is life giving instead of stressing too much about praying. And the memory of those star gazing nights came to me.

Tonight when I walked into the car park, the entire place was dark, there wasn’t a single soul around, and the sky, instead of being black, was a deep indigo. The weather was perfect – dry and cool, the sort of weather we never get here. And somehow I ended up climbing onto the back windscreen of my dad’s car and just lying there, gazing at the stars. Not so much praying as just trying to absorb the beauty and majesty of this God who has baffled me so much over so many years. I couldn’t look into that sky and not adore Him.

My confessor once said to me, consider that perhaps, God is compelled to love you, just as you feel compelled to love Him. I found that such a beautiful and comforting image, and I think tonight, looking into that sky, that image came back to me. If God feels about loving me what I felt about worshiping Him when I looked up into the stars… and then add to that all the infinity of God’s love, compared to the puny, almost ADHD nature of my desire for Him… It’s mind boggling.

When I first saw the prompt for today, my mind immediately jumped to recognizing God in all things. I was thinking  of all those times, especially in the past week, when I’ve struggled to see God in my experiences, in my dryness, in His silence, in my lack of silence. But I think God tonight was like, challenge accepted. And He fed me in so many ways, and especially in that great, indescribable beauty that compels me to acknowledge that He is there for me, loving me, every moment of my every day and everyday.

The Lord is my light and my help; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; before whom shall I shrink?

via Daily Prompt: Recognize

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