On Paying Attention

At times like these.

When I am feeling so poignantly this illness depression, which is chronic and confusing and feels a lot like failure, at times like these  … I have learned to wait and pay attention.  Taste the bitter in this moment.    And see what God intends.
Henri Nouwen says of this patience:
“The word patience comes from the Latin verb patior which means “to suffer.”  Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full, and  letting the seeds that are sown in the ground on which we stand grow into strong plants.  Waiting patiently always means paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes and seeing there the first rays of God’s glorious coming.”
I know intellectually that God wants me to let go of this grip I have on my pain.  He says “I will take it — your sadness, pain, fear, and hollow heart and make life out of it.”   This is the promise which gives us our hope.  This is everything.  Julian of Norwich says in Revelations of Divine Love:
 “God sees our wounds and sees them not as scars but as honors. . .”
It is possible to thank God for our weaknesses, our broken hearts, our frequent “failings,” even our sickness?  I think it is not only possible but necessary.

I believe He has something good he intends to come out of my heart falling over the precipice, shattered.

Yes, I’m weary of being so feeble and human.  Is it possible to thank him, yes and I am waiting expectantly as Nouwen says:

“Waiting patiently for God always includes joyful expectation.  Without expectation our waiting can get bogged down in the present.  When we wait in expectation our whole beings are open to be surprised by joy…, “Brothers and sisters … the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe.  The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light” (Romans 13:11-12).

I am paying attention and I choose to be grateful nevertheless, which I wrote about over at Provoketive this week.

My cup is always half empty.  At least, without Jesus it would be.  Even with the Holy Spirit active it is an effort to be positive.   ….  Even in the midst of the hell of depression I am grateful.  God gives us this one life and we are charged to sort it out.   He guides us, truly he does, but much of life is us sifting through the good and the bad.

Life is choices.

… (more)

As we begin the season of advent it feels right amidst our clamoring to wait on Him.  In the fear, wait.  Anxious furtive thoughts, wait.

Pay attention and wait with joyful expectation.


Quotations from Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr and from Bread for the Journey by Henri J.M. Nouwen.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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