One step better than blogfriends in cyberspace are blogfriends that become real live face to face friends. Becky is one of those real live face to face friends that I would never have met if it weren’t for blogging and meet ups and places like the Worship Freehouse.
So it was a real treat to be invited to Becky and Jerry’s party – a Wedding reception so those of us that were not at the event four months ago could celebrate with them. Just looking at them you can see they are in love!
Pictures are posted here.
In the fourth and final session of lectio and contemplative prayer we read from Psalm 42.
As a deer longs for flowing streams
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold the face of God?
Honestly, this is one of my favorite Psalms. In the psalmist’s words, I hear the longing that comes from the heart of his being. He wants to see God, to be close, and it is like that need for a drink that drives a thirsty animal to seek water.
As we read the passage the phrase “behold the face of God” stuck in my thoughts.
The weekend had been a journey of sorts for me; from Jesus telling me I needed to rest and drink from his life-giving sap as a living branch, through God bringing me to a place of physical and spiritual release as he showed me what coming home to him was like, to this last session where he reminds me that I will behold his face if I follow my thirst till I find the living water he promises.
This thirst to “behold the face of God” comes to the psalmist in a time when his own troubles cause him to repeat the question that people around him are asking: “Where is your God?” I think that the troubles in my own life are also part of the tools God is using to remind me to search again for his face. Dryness causes me to seek water to slake my thirst. And that is just what Jesus wants to do for me.
This was my first experience attending a guided retreat. I have gone off by myself before. That was good but there was something special about this weekend. Maybe it had something to do with the total lack of responsibility, even down to not having to decide what to meditate on or read. That may have given me more freedom to be led or perhaps to concentrate on hearing God. Whatever it was, I plan to make this type of retreat part of my experience at least once a year.