His Gentle Presence

Here we are just two weeks away to Good Friday. I wonder how this Lenten season has been going for you. What are some of the ways God has been speaking to you?

If you haven’t been reading Henri Nouwen’s book “Show me the Way” with us, have you taken time aside to listen to God? Have you experienced his Gentle Presence as you open your heart up to him?

Many people are afraid to sit with God alone. We may ‘work’ for God in a  number of ways. We may even live a life of pure piety and devotion in the name of God. But, when it comes to being known and knowing Him, we hesitate to turn and face Him.

It is part of Adam’s gift to us. We ‘hide’ from God. We make our best effort to ‘cover’ ourselves up before coming to God. Somehow we forget that He knows where we are at all time, and He sees us exactly for who we are. When He calls us to Himself, He’s giving us a chance to respond – to trust that we are safe in His Presence.

For some, the thought of being safe in God’s presence does not match their image of an angry and unpredictable God. There is an unhealthy fear that distances us, rather than awe and reverence bringing us closer and closer to Him. The cross is the most undeniable display of God’s love for us.

If you have held onto an idea of a distant and angry God, I want to invite you to reconsider it.  Come and talk to us, if you want. Take a moment and ask God to reveal Himself afresh to you. Maybe ask yourself how you got here. What makes it so hard for you to present yourself “naked and unashamed” before Him? Why do you resist coming to Him just as you are? For those of you already responding to God’s invitation, are there areas within your heart you are trying to keep away from Him?

These are not a series of prying questions. We love you, and are committed to walking in community. There is always time for us to turn to God. Sometimes, in the most mundane of our activities, we can have a life-changing encounter with Him. One of the most beautiful things about experiencing our Lord’s gentle presence is discovering we are not outside of Him. He wants to reveal Himself to us, and show us who we are in Him.

“The mystery of the spiritual life is that Jesus desires to meet us in the seclusion of our own heart, to make his love known to us there, to free us from our fears and to make our own deepest self known to us. In the privacy of our heart, therefore, we can learn not only to know Jesus but, through Jesus, ourselves as well.”  –H. Nouwen, “Show me the Way”, p.82

In His gentle presence, may you find yourself surprised by Love, Hope, Peace, and Joy that surpasses circumstances.

Blessings and Peace,

Dr. Christiane and Rev. Todd