Last week I posted about this thing I stumbled on that is really innovating my prayer life. It’s kind of weird, but hope it’s something that will work for others too.
I wrote that I started picturing that both God and my heart live in the same little space. Like we both are little people hanging out in my chest cavity sort of. And whenever I commit some sort of silent sin that nobody would see but me, like little white lies to impress people, it’s like setting something big and gawdy on the shelf that we both had to look at sitting there in our space. And once I started picturing it that way it started getting easier to stop bringing those things home with me.
And I think tonight I realized why it seems to help so much. It’s because I can see myself the way God sees me. My sin is not on me. It’s on the shelf a few feet away from me, a lot further away than God is. I’m dirtying the floor or putting stupid crap on the shelves or stinking up the place with some old garbage. But God still sees me apart from all that stuff. It’s like if I bring in some really ugly pride, it’s like we’re both looking it at on the shelf and both of us are sort of saying, yeah that’s gross. But he looks at me and still sees me, unblemished. And I’m standing there looking a little sorry, and knowing I should just kind of take that thing out to the trash.
And like if I yell at him because I’m angry, or if I am feeling so hurt and tired I just need to cry, it’s like all we have is each other. None of the sin or dog-and-pony-show or my history or what people on social media think of me. It’s just him and me and this really tender longing for each other. Like he sees me as so loved and faultless as if I were a baby and he just wants me to pour my heart out to him. And there’s no judgement because none of the stuff that merits it penetrates this little shell we have.
I remember growing up they’d say Jesus lives in my heart. And then later I learned Brother Lawrence says to practice the Presence of God. And I’d repeat those words and try to live it out. But it wasn’t really until I tweaked it that it really seemed to click. It was when I started thinking of it like my heart has a roommate, and the walls of that room bear all my sin, but he still sees me as a person who is closer to him than the sin is. A separate soul, uncontaminated by that sin. And in that intimate place where no one else is watching, whether I go up to the heavens or make my bed in the depths, he is still right there with me and won’t leave and all that matters is him and me. Because there I can sort of see how he can take care of everything. I’m not worried about what someone said about me. Not what others are doing behind my back. Not what regrets I have, or what’s about to crash down all around me.
What matters is I still have him, and nothing can break into this place where I will always have enough. At least it feels that way, living with the one from whom my frame was not hidden when I was made in the secret place. The one who knit me together in my mother’s womb and the one who looks at me and by the way he looks at me I know that I am just so fearfully and wonderfully made.
I really like my roommate and I feel like only now am I kind of really getting to know him.
Raw Spoon, 7-6-17