The second session of lectio divina was from Mark 8: 22-26. In this passage, the villagers “begged” Jesus to touch and heal their friend.
It seemed to me that this fellow had good friends. Perhaps they saw his potential, had grown up with him and had learned to love and care for him. They knew and understood his need to be whole. When Jesus came to their town, they knew that Jesus could heal their friend if he chose to do it. They were not above begging – this blind guy was their friend.
To me this passage spoke about the importance of friends in being introduced to Jesus – loving another person enough to bring them along to Jesus and beg Jesus for help on their behalf.
The other thing that struck me in this passage was that the return of this guy’s vision took some unusual action. First of all, putting spit in a man’s eyes seems strange. I wonder if he heard Jesus spit onto his hands and wonder what was going to happen. There are a lot of things that may have been going on in this scene that we aren’t informed of. And the man’s sight wasn’t restored perfectly right off the bat. He had to look intently before his sight became clear. I wonder if this is a bit of an allegory of how our faith develops – at first a bit fuzzy; becoming clearer as we look intently and see Jesus more and more clearly.
By the time I was in the third session of the retreat, I was beginning to fall apart emotionally. This was so unlike me. I don’t go around weeping even for most sad stuff. We came together to share from the second and third session of lectio and I could not.
For the third session our passage was from John 15:4, from The Message this time. “Make your home in me just as I do in you.”
It was as if I could not hear God. I felt confused and lost and my emotions just seemed to take over. I felt like I didn’t know what it meant to be at home; to make my home in God. I think I felt lonely and lost.
Later on that evening, I went back to the room where the labyrinth was set up.
Walking the labyrinth was a new experience for me. The first couple of times when I walked it, it was ok but nothing exceptional. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Both times before this evening, I had walked to the centre and it seemed as if God had met me there most as I sat and prayed at the centre – just that as I prayed, the issue I was praying about seemed to sort of resolve as I sat there and I left with a lot more lightness.
This evening, I was dealing with a lot of turmoil inside. I didn’t even really know what it was all about but I knew I wanted to be close to God, so I went to spend some time with him.
As I walked, I asked him, “What does this mean for me – to be at home in you as you are in me?” It dawned on me that I had not grown up in one single home all my life. So a physical home for me did not mean a single place that I never moved from. As I walked toward the centre, I didn’t seem to get any closer to understanding. At the centre, I lay down and listened for a long time. I was crying a bit, I felt so lost not knowing why all these emotions, feeling a bit like I was a long way from home but searching for it, unable to hear exactly what God was trying to say to me.
Then as I lay there, Jesus reminded me of Leo. He reminded me of how we are at home in each other. How we are most “at home” when we are with each other – just around each other, not necessarily doing anything or even talking to each other. It came to my mind that this is the kind of “at home” he wants me to experience with him. He wants me to be so comfortable in his presence that without even saying anything I will know that he is there and will be truly at home. He reminded me that I need to stay closely connected to him or I will feel lost and away from home.
I think that part of what I was feeling was also fear. The pressure on me emotionally over the past couple of months has been heavy both at work and at home. I needed some emotional healing and rest and I think Jesus was providing for me just the kind of rest I needed, even to letting some of my emotional hurts work themselves out.