Knock, Knock, Knockin’ at Heaven’s Door

 

Image: biblepic.com

Image: biblepic.com

This morning I awakened to the nagging sound of a monosyllabic tweet. A sparrow outside my window, no doubt, wanted to remind me that the bird feeder was almost empty. Now, I’m a great aficionado of birds–why else would I feed them? But this little guy irritated me to no end and it set my day off on a sour note.

It only got worse. My deaf, hyper little Jack Russell was in an extra-agitated mood when we took our early morning walk and everything, everyone who walked or rode by or flew overhead set her into a frenzy. To top it off, the landscapers descended on our complex and began unloading their lawn-mowers for their weekly grass maintenance.

After that, it was difficult to settle in to my prayer time. Even my Bible readings seemed to offer anything but comfort. And then God’s humor intervened. The folks next door (in an attached condo) began the demolition of a wall to expand an existing bedroom. The workers came on board with a steady pounding of a sledge-hammer.

Ironically, this was just the reminder I needed to hear this morning. Eric Clapton’s song slithered into my subconsciousness and I realized that it is in the little things that we can discover the Divine. We hunger for more and the only “more” that can fill us is our God. But beyond that, God hungers for us. He won’t leave us alone until we hear his knocking at the door of our hearts.

The nagging bird came back before my quiet time ended. The hammering persists several hours later. Other repetitive sounds keep drawing my attention–but now, instead of frustration, I can savor the reminder.

I don’t remember the words to Clapton’s song beyond the opening lines but it’s playing in my head none-the-less. Ah, sweet delight: here’s comes the lawn mower. Again.

 

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!

Here I stand, knocking at the door.
If anyone hears me calling and opens the door,
I will enter his house and have supper with him,
and he with me.

Revelation 3: 20 (NAB)

Photo: icraftblog.blogspot.com

Photo: icraftblog.blogspot.com

Advent is here–a time of waiting, of anticipation for the coming of God-with-us, Emmanuel. I have always relished this season of the liturgical cycle and embrace it as characterizing my own personal spirituality–that sense of emptiness waiting for completion.

Right now, I’m muddling my way through the book of Revelation, the apocalyptic book that is the least read and least understood book of the New Testament. This morning I read Chapter Three and the thought occurred to me–what use is study if it’s purpose is anything but to bring us into communion with Christ.

And what better verse to savor, to sit back and absorb, than the one above–one of the few from this book that has held meaning for me in the past. For me, today, on this Sabbath, this is an invitation to remember the presence of God in whatever I do. God was with/in me as ate breakfast, cleaned up the kitchen, checked e-mail, cared for the dogs. Here he is, now, as I write this post. (Actually his Spirit is the inspiration behind it.)

In my prayer, I’ve never been good at the type of meditation recommended by St. Ignatius Loyola where he has you plop yourself down in the middle of a gospel scene and allow your senses to experience everything going on in it. Just not my style, though many find it helpful. But today, it is making a lot of sense to me to visualize him here with me, leaning over my shoulder as I write. Hmmm! I wonder if he would enjoy watching a little football later today.

Isn’t Advent about just this? The coming of God in our midst–Jesus’ willingness to take on humanity and experience that which we experience–physically, emotionally, and intellectually?

I wish you a blessed Advent. Let’s invite Emmanuel in to share everything. Everything.

Photo: Victoria Slotto Our Advent Wreath 2014

Photo: Victoria Slotto
Our Advent Wreath, 2014