Beauty surrounds me, yet I am not satisfied without the companionship of the Lord. Mary Oliver, stanza six, “Six Recognitions of the Lord”
Our deepest longing is to know God in the awe-filled wonder of Creation and most especially God’s nearness in our own hearts. At the conclusion of “Six Recognitions of the Lord,” Mary Oliver names companionship with Jesus Christ as key. The beauty of creation, the delights we see do not bring wholeness absent accepting a deep intimacy with Jesus in the heart, making space to be filled with God.
We know too well the places where we seek satisfaction in wealth, accolades for achievement, a certain type of bodily beauty; all these leave us more empty than full.
The sun is shining, ready to melt winter’s (last?) snow and ice and finally I hear birds in the morning. Beauty surrounds me in God’s transcendence in the morning and at night with the brilliant full “snow” moon.
Yet, Lent is around the corner. Curiously one word for Spring in Dutch is Lente. In spring in this hemisphere we observe a season of bringing forward, clearing out, and making space for the companionship of the Lord. Carrying our love of things, praise, or power we are hindered in our walk with Christ. Prepare to let them go.
In our older church calendar we had Sundays, the “gesimas” that counted down the days before Lent, a preparation for the Preparation to Easter. This week I invite us to prepare for the Preparation and seek out companionship of the Lord, taking time to begin pulling out all we are carrying in our hearts. Take a look at what we find and discard anything that blocks our presence before Jesus. Remember the children’s creed: I believe in Jesus who lives in our hearts by faith. Make space for life.
May we open and bare our whole hearts, absent extraneous baggage, to the Source of Love, to the beauty of creation, to the satisfaction in companionship with the Lord.