Lent 2 – The Darkwood Gift of Being Thunderstruck

There’s a path though it winds its way through darkness
we would choose to avoid it if we could
We awake to an unexpected calling
God says “Come – there are gifts in the Dark Wood.


Gordons Reflection

It’s such a short distance from the highs to the lows
From the exhilaration of great victories in life to
despair and a willingness just to give up.
Put yourself in Elijah’s shoes – or sandals as it may be
Hot, dusty sandals, from running as far and as fast as he could.
Straight after the victory over the prophets of Baal
he hears that Jezebel is out to get him.

So – when for you was the time that a great high was followed by being in the pits?

And where does he run?
Back to the safe place – the sacred place, the holy place.

When life is tough for you – really tough – where do you run?

And now he’s there.
The highs and the lows, and the predictable sacred space all combine.
And the earthquake comes.
The shaking of life. The breaking of foundations. The drama
But God wasn’t in that experience
And the fire comes.
The great symbol of divine presence, of God’s heritage. The visuals
But God wasn’t in that experience.

Are you in Elijah’s space at the moment?
Knowing that life has highs and lows, knowing that we each have our holy space
Knowing that there is divine drama and heritage and the visuals

And yet there’s something missing.
Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that matters.

The tree isn’t the tree because of the bark and the leaves.
Way below the ground, in the unseen space, the roots twist and bend for water
Below the surface of the tree, in the unseen space,
sunlight turns to life giving nourishment

Sometimes it’s what you don’t see that matters.

Sometimes there is an insight, or even a question, that is like a tiny flash of lightning.
It even seems far off
But the thunder rumbles and rumbles and rumbles
Sometimes it rumbles right to our very core and shakes
Shakes in a way that we are left with for years.   For a life.

For Elijah, the tiny flash is a question.
Elijah What are you doing here?

Or is it What are you doing here?
Or What are you doing

What’s the flash, the tiny light, the still small silence
that leaves the reverberations shaking and shaking?

We are at a table together:
What are you doing here?

John’s Response:

The Lord says to you:
What are you doing here?


We are here, Lord –
Gathered to your table.
Meeting around your bread and wine:
Bread to be broken,
Wine to be drunk,
The gifts of God for the people of God.
And later, to receive Your commission
To Your mission in the world.

But Lord, I am here in the Dark Wood
for refuge from life …

Successes that once gave my joy

but now haunt me with thoughts
of what might have been.

Victories celebrated

but that now leave me wondering
about the value of having taken the moral high ground.

Pain and suffering that debilitates
distracting my attention
stalling my confidence
reducing my humanity.

I am here Lord, in the Dark Wood
Seeking shelter from my vulnerability
Relationships with hard edges
leaving some wounded
and me dismayed.

Recognizing the limits of my abilities
feeling dazzled by others abilities
and diminished about my own inabilities.
Anxious about the things I want to change;
frustrated by my inability to bring that change to reality.

Wanting to hide from the weaknesses within
Over which I inwardly remonstrate
Talking myself towards a low self esteem
Feeding worry and destructive self-centeredness

I am here Lord,
Seeking Your reassurance.
I want lightning and thunder,
storms and wind,
earthquakes and fire…

Because I am struggling
with the stuff life throws at me
Because I am searching for meaning
Because I am Yearning
for strength in others company.

The Lord says to you:
What are you doing here?

Know my presence in these common, small things
Of eating the bread
and drinking the wine.
Once again I pour my life into you in this meal.
Let the insight of my life in this meal
Reverberate through your living.

Arise to your calling
and be sent Into the vocation I have for you.
Go, move out beyond this sanctuary
To where the yeast of love is rising
bubbling with My Holy enterprise.
fed by Me
Be my living Body.
Christ is living in you.
Through You Christ is working through the world.
Here is My new way of being.

The Lord says to you:
What are you doing here?

We are here Lord, to nourished so that
as a faithful Body of Christ,
we may be found
nurturing justice
brokering peace
practicing inclusion
respecting others
offering hospitality
making welcome
exemplars of Hope
mediating reconciliation…

Living Your unexpected life.

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