Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!


I have been reading a little this week on the concept of "praying using fantasy." The examples given used images such as a lump of clay, or "falling into the sun." In the exercise, you start by imagining you as the object in the fantasy, imagine something being done to it, what happens, how it feels, etc. Then you switch gears and imagine yourself in the presence of the Son of God.

Well, gee whiz, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what I would use as my fantasy object--a stick of wood in my chiminea! (DUH. That was easy.)

So I sat, as I made a fire in my chiminea today, and started to just let what was happening in real life drive the fantasy. The wood was a little damp, and the fire needed "tending" to really get it going--lots of smaller twigs and sticks to get a nice base of coals before I could put the "big stuff" in. I tended my fire and imagined.

I am a stick of wood. I have splintered spots, knots, and rough places. I am a little damp from being rained upon for three days and have only gotten to dry out a little in the sun. The fire seems so inviting. I want to be put in the fire right now, but I know I cannot enter just yet--it is not hot enough and not ready for me. I wait. I'm impatient. The fire is getting warmer outside the chiminea, and it's almost torture not to go in.

Finally, I am picked up and placed on the fire. I begin to smoke and sputter. My bark catches fire. I am so different from the coals below me. I want to be white hot like they are, but part of me is ablaze and part of me is warm. Water bubbles out of me and hisses. Sometimes there's a big pop.

As the flame begins to burn within my core, I can feel myself transforming. All the rough spots, all the impurities begin to dissolve from me and go up in the smoke to be carried away. As the non-essential parts of me burn off, I get smaller, but hotter. Hotter and hotter, smaller and smaller, until I am red hot glowing coals. I am one with all the glowing coals in the pile. We are one white hot glowing pile of energy...and then the next stick of wood is added, and it will become part of all of us, just as I became part of this cluster of pure heat and warmth.

Now...switching gears like the exercise says...

I am awaiting being in the presence of the Son of God. I have splintered spots, knots, and rough places. My sins are ever before me. I feel His warmth and see His light, but I realize that all the cares of the world, and all the tribulations and scars of my life have made me feel that I am capable of becoming part of him, but I am separate somehow. His light seems so inviting. I want to run up and be next to Him right now, but I know I cannot enter His presence just yet--it is not my turn, and I have to consider all these scars and dings and defects in me. I wait. I'm impatient. I feel myself desiring so much to have these flaws transformed, and it's almost torture not to go in.

Finally, I am led to him and allowed to bask in His radiance. I see others are there with Him, those who have been led to Him before me. I feel the surface of me begin to warm to His presence, but I still am aware I am so different from the substance of the others near Him. I want to be white hot like they are. I want to be one with everything that is His substance and light. I start to feel those flaws slowly melt away.

As the Light of Christ begins to burn within my core, I can feel myself transforming. All the rough spots, all the impurities begin to dissolve from me and seem to be carried away, far away from His heat and light. As the non-essential parts of me burn off, I get smaller, but hotter. Hotter and hotter, smaller and smaller, until I am red hot glowing light and truth. I am one with all the glowing smaller lights in His presence. We are one white hot glowing pile of light and eternity and Truth...and then the next person is brought to Him, and will become part of all of us, just as I became part of this cluster of pure heat and warmth. All there is that is left of "me" is the desire to be part of Light and Truth. In us are all the prayers that He hears of those on earth, all the good deeds of those still living, all the love and kindness that humans try to emulate to "be like Christ."

All of us together, are "the energy of prayer." We are the core that makes prayers answered on earth, we are the tears of the lonely calling to God, we are the smiles in the eyes of children...and wow...it feels SO good.

You know, this is not a bad eternal "job description!"

9 comments:

Sometimes there´s a big POP!

That´s the really fun part! The aware that, yes, in fact, I DON´T have to burdened with whatever that was that just exploded...whew, I thought it was a keeper and all along showed little Faith...but there you have it, POP! All gone!

Thanks, I enjoy a crispy Christian snap!

Absolutely! Funny, isn't it...that thing that you thought was "so important" that you needed to hoard it inside yourself, turned out to be a little pocket of moisture and air. Not exactly "something worth keeping," after all!

I know...it´s best that we toss ourselves in the fire (expose ourselves and be vulnerable) and let the POPS ring out (in front of God and everyone else too)!

Love it!

Thanks K!

This sounds like an exercise I might want to try someday.

I thought about you, Ruth. This is something that might be right up your alley!

I realized as I read this that I am not comfortable with the Jesus/deity thing. That's what I will ponder on now as I think about your burning wood. I am so much more a Holy Spirit kind of guy.

I love the energy returning to the source metaphor you came up with though! Talk about ashes to ashes, eh? And the "burning desire" to rejoin the heat and light and burning coals. How ironic that burning coals can be transformed into a God image rather than a Satanic image. I LOVE IT!

Me too...I love the image of warmth and light and the burning away of the knarled painful/confused and seeming uneven imperfections that are only twists and turns in lives...the leaping flames and desire/light go upward forever/endlessly and never dies out while our earthly essense smoulders richly in the afterglow of who we were and not who we are as we reach endlessly into infinite trust and arms of the God of our understanding.

Mysteries yet to unfold.

...and I like how it takes the continuing line of the fire being fed by a "new stick of wood." A new person joining us and bringing their stored energy to the mix.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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