A Lesson on Listening: when groans are louder

I love that the human heart can experience a wide array of emotion.

Lately, I’ve felt the inner groanings that go beyond just sadness, but go deep, and are constant, with moments of exceptional strength.

They are guttural and piercing, archaic and mighty within me.

It seems that war wages all around me: our theological arguments, our struggle to remain whole, our fight for belief at all cost, our propensity to bicker and bite at every opportunity, and especially, hiding behind the shield of a computer screen or Facebook timeline.

When I am at home with the boys throughout the week, I feel like a vacuum, sucking up the tiny, sharp shards of these encounters around me in order to digest them for myself.

And I can hardly bear it anymore.

And that’s when the sighings of the deep are heard and felt within me. It’s like that churning in the very back of the belly button, and it just can’t be ignored.

So this morning as I drove into Atlanta, I saw the people– countless, at eight in the morning on a Saturday. And I sang from my car and tried to pour the Spirit over myself, over all of us; I tried to beg Him to be near and louder than I tend to let Him be.

I don’t know what to do with the groanings, except surrender. I know the fruit that comes from the same Spirit, and perhaps He’s asking me to participate in that, so that the groaning may turn to laughter, so that I may remember His holiness and peacefulness.


Some quotes that struck me this morning:

It is more important to remember God than it is to breathe. –Gregory of Nazianzus


Blessed are you, Lord, who dwell in the heights and yet have chosen to live within a human heart, giving it joy and lifting it up to the heights alongside you, to live with you there, to praise you in the heights and in the depths. Glory to you, who have given such wonders to a  heart that your own hands made from the very dust of the earth.    –Sahdona the Syrian


Cleanse the mirror of your soul and the single light will merge with you, manifesting itself to you as trinity. Then take the light down into your heart, and there you will see the Living God. –John of Dalyatha


Man is a little soul carrying around a corpse. -Marchus Aurelius

My birthday is just around the corner, and as I took time this week to write a large number of thank-you cards, I remembered what it means to be loved and celebrated. I remembered what it means to be cared for, what it means to be blessed in the midst of a messy kitchen and crazy little boys and full schedules.

So while I really don’t know what to do with this deep voice, I must let the groanings groan, and remember that God gave me breath to breathe. I remember that He gives me the capability to praise Him in the heights and in the depths, that His light has buried itself deep in me, and that this light breathes life into the corpse of a body that I carry.

Hallelujah and Kingdom Come.



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