“When you think about it, it makes sense that space would be intimately associated with salvation. Space is freedom: freedom from confinement, from preoccupation, from oppression, from drivenness, and from all the other interior and exterior forces that bind and restrict our spirits. We need space in the first place to recognize how compelled and bound we are. Then we need space to allow the compulsions to ease and the bonds to loosen. . . . To the extent that space is permitted by grace and our own willingness, we discover expanding emptiness in which consecration can happen, room for love to make its home in us. . . . It seems to me that spaciousness comes to us in three primary ways. First, it appears as spaciousness of form: physical, geographical spaces like the wide openness of fields, water, and the sky and the welcoming simplicity of uncluttered rooms. Second, it comes as spaciousness of time: pauses in activity when we are freed from tasks, agendas, and other demands. Third, we encounter spacious of soul. This is inner emptiness, the room inside our hearts, the unfilled quality of our consciousness. Depending upon how we meet this soul-space, we may experience it as open possibility or void nothingness, as creative potential or dulling boredom, as quiet, peaceful serenity or as restless yearning for fulfillment. . . . Sometimes the waiting is beautiful in its spacious presence to what is, but more often it feels like a great struggle. It is a fierce and holy dignity to wait in the midst of things needing to be done and nothing but emptiness inside. It is even sometimes a kind of spiritual warfare, filled with temptations to do something, anything, to make a difference in the world outside and fill the void within.” Gerald May
“He has sent me to . . . to proclaim freedom for the captives . . . .”
Isaiah 61:1b NIV
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Could you be hemmed in–”compelled and bound” more than you think?
- Have you experienced spaciousness (geographical, temporal, internal) in a way that eased your compulsions or loosened your bonds?
- Have you waited in that in-between space where you want to do anything but wait? . . . where you don’t know what is next? . . . where you’re “off kilter?”
- What did God do for you or in you in that place?
Abba, you’ve made me for freedom. Help me to abide in it.
For more: The Awakened Heart by Gerald May
Thanks for reading, following and sharing these Daily Riches. Look for my upcoming book– Wisdom From the Margins: Daily Readings for quotations, Scripture, questions, and prayers like these.
May, Gerald, The Awakened Heart. New York: HarperCollins, 1991, pp. 93-92, 244.