“Put out into the deep water.” (Luke 5:4)
“The Lord did not say how deep. The depth of the water into which we sail depends upon how completely we have cut our ties to the shore, the greatness of our need, and our anxieties about the future. Yet the fish were to be found in the deep, not the shallow, water.” (Streams in the Desert, Feb 29)
Lent was such a time–when the ropes that lassoed me to the docks had been cut, I saw my need and rushed into the deep. No hesitation. And the deeps brought contentment and peace. I found myself treading water as though it was what I was created to do
Lent then led to the joyous Easter season. Yet despite this victory (that of the resurrection) and my beloved deeps, I found myself rushing back to the shallow waters, unable to remain in the deep for the burden I bore, and barnacled to the dock. I pondered the cause of the burden: far-away family members, conflict among friends? But those existed during Lent and were not weighty. Searching for a way back out, I set up structured prayer time, got up before the sun rose in devotion–and still I found myself wrapped around the dock, as though it was my savior. This yoke was neither easy or light.
Upon expressing these sentiments to a friend, she suggested I read poetry. Poetry eventually led me to my old stand-by: “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”. Sometimes when I look to the Lord through the same lens, day after day, the glass gets foggy and I grow blind to the striking beauty of Truth. I forget it is beauty that points back to my real and true Savior, not my own strivings.
“But I can’t go out and try to see this way. I’ll fail, I’ll go mad. All I can do is try to gag the commentator, to hush the noise of useless interior babble that keeps me from seeing just as surely as a newspaper dangled before my eyes.” (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 32)
Lest it sound like I’m discounting spiritual disciplines, rest assured I’m not. I’m simply saying that sometimes to see Truth, we must hunt for beauty and this beauty will lead us to Truth.
Unhinging myself from the splintering dock, I push off into the deeps. And it’s beautiful.“This ordinary time is gifted in its quiet, marked passing Christ slips about calling and baptizing, sending and affirming, pouring his Spirit like water into broken cisterns, sealing cracks and filtering our senses, that we may savor the foolish simplicity of his grace.” (Passing Ordinary Time, Enuma Okoro from At the Still Point ed. Sarah Arthur)