Be Still and Know that I am God
We had such a beautiful "Great Silence" retreat this spring. Every retreatant was able to come. The weather was perfect, sunny and not too hot. The food prepared by our very own contemplative chef was tasty and delicious ... it really makes a difference! Our theme was the Psalms and we found lovely creative ways to enter into them as we followed Walter Brueggemann's Spirituality of the Psalms to structure our retreat.
The bible is the grand story of God and God’s people as they journey together. In the journey there are basically 2 movements within 3 spaces. We see movements toward God and movements away from God, dancing through life with one another, we move.
Brueggemann has a wonderful way of inviting us to see those 3 dancing spaces of life reflected in the Psalms: Orientation, Disorientation, and (often surprising) Reorientation. As we moved through our retreat, we practiced this rhythm … practicing the rhythm invites us and increases our trust that after every bout of disorientation there will be a reorientation to invite us deeper in our relationship with God, often with a delightful surprise.
We worked with images as we created Psalm Collages and some of us wrote our own Psalms from scratch. We sat by the lake and we hiked through the woods as, gazing upon beauty, the Psalms came alive for us.
Take your Journal and go on a walk in the presence of God in Creation. If you can't take a walk, gaze upon a photo of nature that draws you in and allows you to walk in your imagination. As you walk, breathe in the beauty and wonder you find. Now … be still in the Presence. As you become attuned to the nature that envelops you, take time to write down what you notice. Use these prompts to start writing. Let the words flow without thinking about them now.
- I see … I hear … I smell … I feel the texture of …
- How is God present in Creation?
- How does God make God-Self known to you here?
- What does the beauty of your surroundings remind you of … any memories emerge?
- I want to ask God our Creator this about what I have experienced in nature …
- I want to tell God our Creator that creation is, for me … or Creation feels like …
- When I consider the presence of God in creation, I sense a desire to say the following phrase over and over again …
- Lists: Make a short list of things you found on your walk that you are thankful to God for. Take your list and express your thankfulness to God. (Ps 83:13-15)
- Restatement: The first line is not repeated, it is restated. Write a statement to God about what you found on your walk in nature and then restate it. (Ps 148:1)
- Questions: Write several lines, each beginning with “Why …” (Ps 74:1)
- Repetition: Take a word or phrase and alternate with new lines. (Ps 118)
- Addressing the Divine: Consider new names and images of God evoked by your walk
Enjoy ... Psalms in the Silence!