REFLECTIONS: JEREMIAH 15:16 – Part IV

By Msgr. Bernard Powers

 

I Found

            I found your word,

            in a poem, in a letter…

                        in the song of a bird,

                        in the chatter of a squirrel…

 

                                    In the beauty of an apple,

                                    In the simplicity of a grape…

 

                                                in the power of the storm…

                                                in the gentleness of the dew.

            I found your word

            as a fragment,

            old, without a date.

                        It was a joy to my heart,\  

                        a truth to my mind.

 

                        Your word preserved in nature,

                        accidentally found…

                                    rich in value…

                                    full of life.

 

                                    a word found

                                    and I devoured your word,

                                    It was a banquet.

 

My spirit

            so long in darkness

            knew an enlightening

            that took me to my knees,

                        adoring and believing.

 

            My heart

            once sad

            felt a joy

that took me to song,

            giving thanks.

 

My spirit

had wondered aimlessly amidst the stuff

now took wings

soaring to the heights…

a contemplative silence, the silence of union.

 Amen

 

 

Found

 

Loving Spirit of God,

Your word states:  “When I found your word…”

This statement startles me.

How is it that I found your word?

Have I not known it before?

Have I not had it before?

Has it been complete lost in my life?

 

How is it that I found your word?

Was I looking for it…. searching for it?

Was it an accident that I found it?

            I am sure it was a grace that I found it.

            The finding was your gift to me.

Did I stumble upon it by accident?

The treasure found in a field probably was just accidental.

Is my experience with your word the same?

Loving God,

I wish to reflect upon this experience of “finding your word.”

 

Life is interesting and surprising.

Sometimes I find things when I am not even looking.

Sometimes I find a special something while looking for something else.

 

Loving God,

there are times when I am reading

and your “word” appears. It is startling, shocking.

It makes me notice.  It grabs like a briar in a forest.

Like a clap of thunder or a bolt of lightening

the word is there.

 

There are other times when it is your word

and I ignore it, treat it as any other word…

I walk away, skip over it,  pay no attention.

But immediately there is a pain,

a hunger, an inner disposition that is different.

                                                                                                                       

Loving Spirit of God, give me an eye and an ear for your word.

As the skilled hunter can see

what does not want to be seen…

so I see.

see your word when it appears.

 

Loving Spirit of God,

help me to notice, to see. to find your word.  

                                                  Amen                  

 


 Finding the Word - Nehemiah

 

            Lord Jesus,

            sometimes it seems I am carried into captivity,

            away from my roots, my homeland,

            my values, my temple, even You, My God.

            What a joy to me

            when the word is found…

            as was the Scroll and Nehemiah

            and your chosen people.

 

            What a joy when the word

            is found in the rummage, among the things,

            in the demolished walls of my plans,

            in my ruined temple

 

            What a joy to my soul when the word

            is found and I am called to come,

            to assemble, to join with others

            to listen and to hear the word.

 

            I come and stand,

            perhaps even kneel

            as the word is read,

            from morning to noon, from noon to evening.

 

            So for my soul

            when I return from the secular experience

            or perhaps from a period of sinful mess…

            I return from my captivity

            and find the scroll, the word,

            buried beneath the stuff in my life.

 

            When found,

            I embrace the word with love.

            I open the word with reverence.

            I listen with faith.

            I feast and devour the word.

 

                        Sorrow touches me;

                        I beg pardon.

                        A spirit of conversion enters my heart.

                        There is an awareness of my sin and my sinfulness.

                        I cry out:  “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man.”

 

                        However, your word is the word of mercy.

                        There is the Father, running to me,

                        embracing me,

                        clothing me in a robe, placing a ring on my finger,

                        putting sandals on my feet.

 

                        My heart rises in gratitude

                        for the word found and devoured

                        is a banquet.

                                                                      Amen