Day 1: Being Gathered

 

Day 1: Being gathered

Zephaniah, 3:20. Matthew 3:12. Isaiah, 43

 

“I am, you anxious one. Don’t you sense me, ready to break into being at your touch? Hasn’t my longing ripened in you from the beginning as fruit ripens on a branch?

I am the dream you are dreaming. When you want to awaken, I am that wanting.” -Rilke

 

The season of advent comes in on the heels of the great gathering that is autumn, a time of breaking open and letting go, of ripeness and abundance. The lectionary readings for the month preceding advent are filled with images of overflowing ripeness, of harvest and abundance, of unexpected comings into fullness, of breaking free from the old into something new.

 

The seasons of the heart follow a similar God-cycle. We are grown upon the stuff of life, last year’s deaths turned into nourishment for this year’s growth, painful experiences teaching our hearts to love. We are grown through seasons of abundance and of scarcity, each season leaving its lessons in the grain. And then we are asked to let go as we are ripened in order to become nourishment…to let go of that which no longer serves our growth, to let go the heartache and harvest the compassion, to let our hearts break open from that which has kept them encased.

 

Our ripenesses and our hungers are in reality one. We yearn both to know and to be known. We yearn to express into being that which we have been created and nurtured through seasons to express, even as God yearns within us to be expressed. Yes, the Yearning One within us is God. As God’s own yearning to know and to be known, to overflow God’s full ripeness and abundance into Being, continually results in the great act of Creation, so does our yearning long to express something into being. That which God simply named ‘I am’, we sometimes name as ‘Who I am’ (with a capital “W’). We yearn to be fully alive in the aliveness of God. We are ripe. Some may experience this ripeness as a howling within, others as a persistent ‘something-more’, still others as a gentle whisper heard only in times of silence.

 

Yet there is a sense of incompleteness in the fullness of our yearning. We long to be gathered in, for God to take the fullness of our broken-openness and bake it into something good.  For Love to gather in the goodness of our ripeness and burn away the no longer needed and the dying. And this is where the advent story begins, with this being gathered in, the heartache and the suffering being left behind, our shame and fears of ‘not-enoughness’ embraced, forgiven…for giving.

 

The poverty in our ripeness is that we need… our gathered-in goodness to be wombed by Love where it will be knitted together, much as the grain is baked on the hearth, or the ripened seed is nurtured in the darkness of the soil. The Mystery of the womb is essential to our becoming, as is the darkness of winter vital, in order for that which is ripe in us to be nurtured into wholeness, for there is a rawness to our ripeness, a rawness that must be embraced by a parallel Mystery, which alone knows how our lives will be made whole.

 

gather me, Love, gather 

these scattered pieces of my life and draw them in

that i may be

wholed.

Behold my heart

Be wholed

 

 

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