When the snow starts falling, a reverent quiet seems to settle on my spirit, inviting me to hold my heart open to possibility. Being quickly propelled into this blustery season, it seems a good time to let my faith wonder. Come along, if you like.
Here in my house in the forest, I like to collect myself in front of the wood stove with a hot beverage — licorice tea this time — close my eyes and imagine what's in store for the season. What sorts of daily Divine occurrences will emerge, drawing me ever deeper into the flow of life and love?
My mind meanders along a few familiar rabbit trails. Old things and new things. Are there old things in my spirit that need a bit of reexamination? Perhaps it's time for a garage sale of the soul. What's been lingering in the back corners of my heart that needs to go in order to make room for the new?
This holy curiosity has me throwing another log on the fire — I may be here a while.
Fear — that old friend/enemy. We've known one another for far too long. How I want to let you go, yet you hold my attention again and again. Is there something you need to tell me? A cautionary tale? You beckon me to play the "what if" game once more. What if you've overstayed your welcome? You might be in the way.
In the way of what, though, I wonder. Holy curiosity surfaces again. I sip my tepid tea, set the cup on top the wood stove to warm up. My heart is longing for something — but what?
That's just it, I don't yet know. In a way, that's the joy of this whole moment. Letting the Divine wander through me, calling my attention to one thing or another. Is there still a hardness, a bitterness encrusting my spiritual vision? Is this why I cannot yet see the new thing emerging?
A spark of hope. Holy curiosity again. The fire's ablaze. Time to draw down the dampers a bit, let the flames hold. Refill my tea.
Oh mercy and grace, take this fear and bitterness away. Help me draw back my hand from their tempting offer. Keep me in holy curiosity until I see with fresh eyes, the new something I trust is forming in me already.
Rev. Carrie A. H. Benton is the pastor of the Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church in Seeley Lake. She has been serving this congregation for over six years. Originally from Havre, she came to Seeley by way of Missoula for undergrad, then Miles City as a social worker, then Pittsburgh for seminary and jail chaplaincy.
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