This morning, looking through the crack in my curtains, I saw a strip of perfect turquoise sky above clouds of deep violet and dark brown. It was gorgeous. But when I slid the curtains aside, a full-blown raging sunrise met my gaze. Blood red and popsicle orange, gaslight yellow and the green of new mown grass drenched the heavens. How impoverished I had been before, and I hadn’t even known it!
“Come and see,” Jesus tells his soon-to-be disciples when they ask him where he is staying. And this seems to me to be the best, short response to any theological question. Who is God? Who is the Christ? Come and see. Open the curtains so that the full sunrise comes in.
Prayer is an excellent guide. In prayer we meet the living God. Through Lectio Divina we learn where God would lead us, as God opens the curtains keeping us from understanding one bit at a time, one day at a time. Through Centering Prayer we learn how to turn our attention to God again and again, sit after sit. In prayers of gratitude we learn what gifts God has given us to light our existence here on earth. Prayer brings us into relationship that is immediate and ever growing. “Come and see.”
What are the curtains that cover your inner windows, keeping you to the views you have enjoyed for so long already that you’re loath to widen your gaze? How do you pray in a way that draws the curtains back, little by little, giving you a wider view of the Holy? What are the forces that keep the view limited? What questions do you not dare to ask? From what perspectives do you shy away? What is God, God’s self trying to lead you into?
Pray with an open heart. Do not look for God in the same old places. Make yourself available to the Holy One. Come and see.
Image: Ottavio Vannini (1585-c. 1643) [Public domain] from Wikimedia Commons.