Aaron and Leanna came to our apartment bearing gifts of Whole Food pizza, because Travis had been gone for eight days and I was home with our boys, and hungry.
Leanna handed me another gift, a teal coffee mug with a rooster imprinted on the front. Inside was a little tin box with a picture of St. Francis on the front.
“Remember, you said you wished you had a rosary to pray with?”
The wooden, clay colored beads were accented by silver links.
I pored over them, hugged my friends, and thought, This is how we find closer paths to God. This is how we grow.
I’m not Catholic, but I hold that rosary and pray, something tangible resting between my thumb and index finger to remind me of the Lord’s Prayer, of the mysteries of Jesus.
I am opened up in a new way.
After learning how to pray the rosary, writing out every detailed step, I reached for a book of meditations called The Book of Mystical Chapters, written years ago by the Desert Fathers and a few Desert Mothers as well.
I know so little of these real-life, once-breathing characters, and yet their words come to life in my home, in my hollow, waiting spaces.
The first section of the book is called “Praktikos,” and it’s 100 meditations for people like me who are new to this particular path of the journey.
How good it is to know that there are always more paths to God, waiting to be discovered. Isn’t He always deeper and wider than we imagined?
I ran to my refrigerator and cleared off the top freezer door, creating a space to write these daily reflections.
The monks would memorize these words, would reflect on them in the quiet moments of their day.
Could I find space to do the same?
“One of the monks asked teacher Abba Nistero: ‘What should I do for the best in life?’
The Abba answered: ‘All works are not equal. Scripture says that Abraham was hospitable, and God was with him; it says that Elias loved quiet, and God was with him; it says that David was humble, and God was with him. So, whatever path you find your soul longs after in the quest for God, do that, and always watch over your heart’s integrity.'”
–Sayings of the Elders
Today is day 3 of 100. Today is words to remember that I belong to God, that my life can stretch past the exhaustion of my day. Aren’t our bodies slowly dying?
But, friends, our souls can thrive.
Clear a space off your refrigerator door and join me.
This is how we’re learning. This is how we’re leaning in and listening, how we’re creating space where we thought we’d run out.
We fight the battle for our hearts.
We watch over our heart’s integrity.
If our path longs for more of God, we must answer, and find that we’ve been given all good things, indeed.