I can’t seem to keep my mind from wandering without my fingers on the keys. Something about watching the letters fall upon the page helps me focus. Somehow watching what has just happened lets me see a tiny bit into the future – thinking my way to the next word as the last one falls into black and white.
So I put myself in that space – in that little place of ‘nexting’ – letting it open up a focused opportunity for encounter. I am hoping for Your interference. Will You come? Are You there?
And, of course, You are. Just asking the question reminds me of both my faith and my past experience. Whenever I open that space for encounter, I trust that it occurs – and, sometimes – I even experience it. As Omid Safi reminds us in an interview with Krista Tippett “Ihsan [actualized goodness] is that you worship God as if you see him … and even if you don’t see him, to remember that nonetheless he sees you.” (Or, perhaps, she sees you – just saying.)
At any rate, I ask You to help me know as I am known, even if its just a shadow’s worth of knowing. And help me relax into that knowing, sufficient to infuse my soul with this day’s sustenance.
This is my manna. It must be renewed each morning, for it will not keep.
In my meadow, on my way to the tree, I stop to find a bit of manna on the dewy morning grass. It is fresh and cool and crunchy – like the vanilla wafers my Sunday school teacher used to give me as an illustrative substitute – a tangible symbol of the story to hold the attention of a third grade understanding. Its sweet crunch remains in my memory, holding the story in place.
I like vanilla wafers. And I do need anchors for my hope.
So, I munch my mental cookie with a smile and remember the many moments of grace, found in the pause of my mornings, when my hope meets Your constant presence. Day after day You offer manna. And when I feel discouraged because I have to start at such a basic place each day, You remind me that this is just the way it works. Stale manna is full of worms. No remembered faith is fresh enough to serve.
It makes me wonder if guilt is Satan’s favorite tool. When I feel bad for imperfection I fall into his trap. I was never designed to be complete on my own. I was made for connection – to You and to Your world – and love is the means of that connection. Love is both the desire and its fulfillment. Love God, love neighbor – that’s what its all about – the whole banana.
And bananas go really well with vanilla wafers.