an invitation to unravel
In today's first reading, Susanna, wife of Joakim, described as "a beautiful and God-fearing woman", is falsely accused of adultery. And it is written, that the elders who intended to lie with her against her will, saw her...then lusted after her...and so, they "suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgements."
Suppress, by definition, means to forcibly put an end to. To stop the development of. The way that the elders achieved this suppression, was by not looking at or thinking of God. They chose to keep their eyes on earth. They chose to not consider what God asks of us. By following Eve and the apple, they forfeited eternal pleasure in heaven, for the temporary pleasure on earth. Go and ask Eve how that all turned out.
And in this time of great uncertainty that no one can escape, it feels to me as if the Lord has hit the pause button and is inviting the whole world to sit, look and think. Look at what? Think about what? More Netflix? More wine? More Instagram? More fear? More anxiety? More Fox News?
And not just Him alone, but Him and Me. You and Him. Relationship with God.
Where do you stand in the garden?
These days, it feels as if my mind is a ball of yarn, slowly unraveling. As the silence and stillness deepens, I have a choice...continue to unravel, revealing the secret places of my heart and mind that truly, I have been suppressing...or grab the string and roll it all back up quickly and tightly, resisting the invitation to use this free time to come a little undone.
We don't like that idea, do we? Of coming undone. Of peeling away all those layers of pride, and false humility...of standing naked before God, acknowledging our worst and most hidden sins.
I pray we allow ourselves to go there, while we have this time.
To spend more time looking and thinking about God.
To allow ourselves to unravel a little more each and every day.
To stand, like the woman caught in adultery, before Jesus...in all our fear and shame, ready to reveal it all. Because when we do this, we do not remain in our fear and shame. Instead, we are met with His mercy. We are consoled by His pity. The scales fall from our eyes, and light fills our minds, and despite being in lock down and living in isolation, we are finally set free; we are never alone.
Questions and Scripture for prayer today:
What do you keep hidden in your heart? What sin are you afraid to look at or think about? Have you suppressed your own conscience? Do you trust in God's mercy?
What do you spend most of your life looking at?
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. (Matthew 6:22)
Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes. (proverbs 27:20)
What do you spend most of your life thinking about?
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. (proverbs 23:7)
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (Cor 10:5)