Sunday, April 24, 2011

Absence. Presence.


T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
I'm listening to an ambient Pandora station called New Age Essentials. The sun has fallen on wonderful Easter Sunday in DC, and the windows are open with a cool breeze coming in. Very meditative. Calm. Perfect opportunity to reflect. I also had a cup of Chamomile tea tonight for dinner.

Yep. That's it. A cup of tea and honey. For dinner.

Ate way too much from a wonderful Easter dinner this afternoon.

Completely stuffed. No room for more.

We gathered together and some words were shared before eating. I love that it IS called "blessing" or "grace." We are blessed. And full of gratitude. Caught up with some great old friends, saw so many new babies, and all of the joy and change of today gave me pause...

An empty tomb was the premise for today's sermon. "Running on Empty" was the title. Late last night I shared a link to a current Walmart Easter ad with our pastor, my friend, who used that as a lead-in to her Easter sermon. We are rushing. Filling up with stuff. To have more. To get there first. And she later touched on something that I needed to hear...

An empty tomb was the premise for today's sermon. When there is absence in our life, even if it hurts, or we ache, or we cry, or we are lost, it can also be precisely the condition needed for us to be filled-up. With the presence of something new. With a new job, an illumination, a new opportunity, with God, with a brilliant idea, or a friend. Or as was the case, so unexpectedly for me exactly two years ago today, with the one who still lights up my life.

We have to make space. We have to let go. We have to be open.

I normally only put my photos on this blog, but a former neighbor* posted the photo [above] this evening.

What a perfect, perfect, perfect, image.

Years ago, I read somewhere that if you are desiring something, or someone, or some change in your life... you have to make space for it, for them.

Prepare a space for their presence to come into your life.

When we clutter our minds, our closets, our schedules, our heart (with old baggage), how can there possibly be room for something new and beautiful to come in. To feel welcomed, comfortable, and invited. And, likewise, we have to let go when something is no longer suited for our life. It is only when that clutter is absent that beauty, strength, new life, new possibility can come in. Like a flower in a garden.

Or take the Byzantine, frozen-in-time, northern Greece monasteries of Mt. Athos that inspired the meditative mindset I'm in. For them (like it or not), it was women. For them to stay focused on their work of getting closer to God, of being open to receive, they needed focus. So for them it was no women.

What do you need to clear out of your life? To let-go of? In order to move forward. To be able to be filled up with something new and wonderful?

I feel that the photo above by Roberto Neumiller, represents how our lives can tend to appear sometimes: over-crowded, slowing us down, clouding our direction, blocking our view, and holding on to way too much baggage.

Yes we are busy.

And that's not a totally bad thing.

But while there's a lot going on in ALL of our lives, think about the ADD-inducing overload of our iPhones and Blackberries, we need to remember to set those things down.

We need to remember we need to shed some of the old baggage in our life. To let go. And be open to welcoming in new beauty. New possibility. New life. Be willing to take the risk, to trust, to make the space in our life for, and be expectant for it to be filled with, beauty.

An empty tomb was the premise for today's sermon.

Empty yourself. Create absence.

So you can be ready for the presence of greatness...
in whatever form your life needs at this moment.
©2011 Wendy Hudgins
*I used to babysit him when he was 3yrs old with a little teddy bear and he now flies jets over Afghansitan and other rugged places in the Middle East.

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