Friday, December 3, 2010

Where Have You Grown Cold?

A Wee, Late Miracle in the Garden

One of my favorite people on this planet happens to be (through this strange and beautiful interwebs) someone I have never met in person, and yet, she is someone who feels like a sister born of my own heart's sorrows and joys.  I interviewed Michelle Halm here at the very beginnings of our budding friendship, and she has quickly become one of those people whom I feel I have know forever.

What is that Chinese saying?  Something like -- you will know your friends more in ten minutes than you know acquaintances in ten years.

As Advent has begun, she has been on my mind a lot, and it turns out that we are experiencing some similar (at their core) issues.  I feel blessed to have someone who understands these mysterious, Catholic parts of me, someone who never finds my faith strange.

There are many people who cannot get past the external, material facts of my life or those of the church for that matter, and so they judge -- from both ends of the political, spiritual spectrums.

But Michelle just gets it.

The whole point of this post was to share something with you that I recently shared with Michelle, but why not express my gratitude at the same time.  ((Smile))

Two days ago, I listened to a talk by Rob Bell, and in it, he kept repeating a prayer...a little different each time, and I am about to paraphrase but I think this keeps his meaning.

I think that people may relate to this right now.  This season is supposed to be about waiting and preparing our hearts and souls, but we have turned it into a season about "getting."  Getting presents. Getting things done. And on and on. (And do not blame media and advertising; we have done this ourselves.)

We have, thus, through our own frenzied actions, stripped the season of the awe and beauty with which it wants to speak to our souls.

So here's a little mantra/prayer to keep in mind.  See if it changes something in your heart.  See if you gasp a little or perhaps sigh:

Melt the places in me that have become cold;
Open my heart again to child-like awe.


Melissa said...

Christine...this touched me this morning on a couple of different levels...most importantly I find that every year that passes when my family asks me what I want for Christmas it has become increasingly more difficult to come up with ideas or items that I "want"...I tend to pride myself on the fact that I want for nothing. I'm a pretty content chica point is that your blog this morning reminded me of something that I did yesterday. This is the first year in three that Freddy and I got a real Christmas tree and I stood in front of it yesterday and I buried my nose in its branches, closed my eyes and took a deep breath and wow...the wonderful pine fragrance took me right back to when I was was overwhelmingly comforting...I felt like a little girl was pretty awesome :) thank you for your blog this morning...I think you are one of the most endearing people I have ever met...I adore you! I remember in college I took a Japanese language course and my professor was wonderful....she told me that the Japanese believe that whomever you encounter in your life, even for a brief are forever connected in spirit :)

claire said...

I very much like your mantra, Christine, and will keep it with me in the coming days.

Thank you.

erin said...

that's so weird! I read the quote and immediately sighed. and then i read your last sentence.

I will repeat this mantra...I do have a busy month but it's more like working a second job, not buy buy buy.

Michelle said...

My dear sister and friend-you continue to inspire me and give me hope.

svasti said...

As much as I'm more naturally inclined/attracted towards a heathen/pagan/yogi version of spirituality, I have no judgement for anyone else's faith.

Well, as long as it isn't a faith that attempts to disempower or discriminate against anyone else, then it's all good as far as I'm concerned.

This world is full of variations on a theme and as different as one religion seems to be in relation to another... at their core, they're all trying to say the same thing. Well, I'd like to think they are anyway.

That little prayer is awesome - opening the heart is what it's all about to me!

ellen said...

I love this mantra Christine, thank you.

I have a basically 'no buy' Christmas in effect...buying stuff doesn't work for me at all, just makes me miserable. And who needs that.

Crow Steals Fire said...

Oh, this is wonderful! (And you definitely don't have to be Catholic to appreciate it.) Thank you so much for sharing.