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On the Way   The Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlan
129/640

 

 

 

This blog is the continuation of

a series for Lent

in which I am pausing every hour between

5 AM and 8 PM

to notice and record the activity of God in my life

 

 

 

6 days X 16 God-sightings per day = 96

+ 33 previous sightings (last week’s blog)

= 129.

129/640.

 

129 entries. 96 since we last met, of me- bringing pen to paper- answering the every-60-minute- chime of my cell phone or watch announcing that it is time to pause, pray, look around, find God in my midst, and journal the outcome.

 

129 incidents of halting whatever I am doing, to pull the tiny black notebook from my pocket and scribble a note.

 

129 incidents of interrupting the action of my day to quietly withdraw and make a notation of supernatural significance.

 

129 incidents of people wondering “what the dickens is she doing?!?”… and  “there she goes with that notebook again…”

 

129 incidents of blessings.  Being blessed.  Looking for blessings.

 

129.

 

Since Lent is 40 days, it forgives/forgets Sundays.  Last week, already caught up in my new practice of recording God-sightings on the hour through Lent-  I had forgotten that Sunday was a “free” day, and I recorded God’s activity anyway.  LOL.  For the purposes of mathematical consistency, I have not included the Sabbath Day of God’s continued persistence and presence  (and my recording of it) in this entry.

 

129/640.  I am feeling humbled by the practice of this and its enormity.  And I am game to go on.

 

This week I have spent time at the spring meeting of the House of Bishops.  We are at Kanuga in North Carolina. I write tonight, (Thursday) having stolen away from the final meeting of the day to sit here, write, and meet my blog deadline of Friday early morning.

 

The time here is refreshing, challenging, substantive, and empowering.  It is balm- and irritant- all at once.  It is balm in the comfort and connecting with those who do what I do- serving as bishop- and for that I am so grateful.  We are colleagues.  And the time here is irritating (in a good way) in that it provides constant challenge and call to renewal and the reclaiming of  God’s mission and our job to care for God’s people on God’s mission.  We are reminded of the core of our call.

 

God is present here- God is palpable in our meetings, in the quiet of the early morning and the stillness of the night.  God is on the dark path in the woods that I must walk at the end of the evening back to my cabin in the woods (I’m in the most far-flung cabin on campus), in the exuberant song of the choir, in the earnest conversations of our table groups (I have both Katherine Jefferts-Schori and Barbara Harris as table mates for this triennium!)  and in the challenge of new ideas.  We’ve discussed hard things here at the House of Bishops’ meeting:  the decision of the Archbishop of Canterbury to not invite Becky Sander, the spouse of +Mary Glasspool to the-every decade Lambeth Conference (for reasons of their same gender marriage); we have discussed the on-going efforts to address sexual abuse and exploitation with pastoral measures and justice; and we have confronted with brutal honesty, the technical fact of numerical church decline and the call to renewed discipleship in the Jesus Movement and the Way of Love.

 

Here are some of the ways that I experienced- and catalogued-  God in the last 96 hours of recorded (waking) time this week (minus Sunday):  My suggestion is to read this list as a meditation of sorts, allowing the words and images and feelings to wash over you, in one “swoosh” of holiness. (There are not 96 items listed here, as many have repeated themselves and I have eliminated some of the “outliers.”)

 

I have seen God this week in:

 

Sustenance

Wellness

Simple beauty

Sustainability

Anticipation

Inspiration

Grace

Making space

Care

Love

Carrying me

Holding

Sheltering

Clarity

Graciousness

Ordinary-ness

Contentment

Laughter

Softness

Quiet peace

Innovation

Passion

Blessing

Cushion of care

Mystery

Providential comfort

Beauty

Purity

Abundance

Holy rest

Joy

Cradled

Wrapped

Diversity

Opening

Depths

Gracious generosity

Stirring

Aligning

Steadfastness

Challenging

Empowering

Strengthening

Courage

Spirited-ness

Tenderness

Caretaking

Struggle

Vulnerable honesty

Harvesting of my gratitude

Dreams

and

Visioning

 

So.

How have you found God?

How has the love and grace and challenge of the Holy Trinity been present to you this Lent- so far?

 

Maybe next week I will share some God stories, instead of just God-words.

 

But for now, soak it up.

Read the list again.

Let the holiness of God sink into you.

 

And be glad.

 

96 moments of joy, wonder, and gratitude.

Holy, indeed.

5 thoughts on “129/640”

  1. Jeanine Goodwin says:

    Indeed, Holy. More like Holy Moly. This practice of alarm setting brings up alarms of it’s own. I’ve been doing it since last week at this time. Oh, the details involved. Let’s see, is there not a way to just tap a time or two to tel my phone to sing out on the hour, every hour between 7 and 7? No. I have to set it individually for every day. The phone got handed to a friend who did it all hour by hour in less than two minutes. Later, I felt a pang. I just let someone else set my intention. Recovered quickly by praying out the invitation to God to help me see when the alarms go off.

    This is really different. In the past it’s been being open to God pursuing me and receiving random hits of Grace (“Hits of Grace” that’s a song or a book title, right?) and random pauses, intentionally opening my heart.

    Now there’s this deceptively sweet little chime sounding out of a pocket, purse, under a pile of books. Such a gentle sound that upon hearing it I just say hmmmm, and listen before reaching for the device’s silent button. After a while someone will say, “Ary you chiming?” And I just smile. Yes. I am chiming, indeed.

    Then the active tracking. You mean I have to NAME what I’m seeing God doing. What, I can’t just sit in some indescribable knowledge of Presence? Articulating it with succinct specificity. That’s the interesting part. I am often so awash in gratitude that words are prostrate on the floor of my soul, atremble and paralyzed with awe.

    1. Audrey Scanlan says:

      Oh, yes! Now into week 3 it is less of a chore and feeling less weird. Now, the challenge is to not go for “stock” replies or noticings form other times, ie: at waking, noticing (and recording) the sense of God holding me as I wake from slumber. Yes, I feel it, and see God but… how ELSE might God be with me in that moment?

  2. Doris Strange says:

    I felt God’s presence this week as I had my annual mammogram. Having had a sister and niece diagnosed with cancer, I am always concerned that it might happen to me. God gave me courage to go and with a good outcome, thanking him for good results and leaving me in peace to continue my day’s journey. Thanks be to God..

    1. Audrey Scanlan says:

      yes, I’m recording lots of noticings of God’s presence as a comfort and balm in my life.

      1. Audrey Scanlan says:

        yes, I’m recording lots of noticings of God’s presence as a comfort and balm in my life.

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