Thursday, December 02, 2004

the furnace of transformation

oh this is exactly where i am at today:
On The Journey Towards Solitude
written by Sue Mosteller

After his baptism and led by the Spirit, Jesus entered the desert of solitude to hear an invitation to transformation. The devil said, "Do something relevant by changing stones to bread; be spectacular by jumping from the temple before the crowd; and claim all worldly power by worshipping me." Jesus is alone to decide. He knows and we know that it's much more painful to be hungry than to be satisfied, much more 'ordinary' to be hidden than spectacular, and much more incomprehensible to be powerless when power is offered. But he also knows, as do we, that hunger, ordinariness, and hiddenness, ground us in the truth of our lives.

In "The Way of the Heart," Henri Nouwen says that solitude is the furnace of transformation. As the intense heat of the foundry furnace melts, purifies, and transforms hard ores into precious metals, so the furnace of solitude melts deceptions, confronts us with death, and invites our surrender to the presence and love of the One who dwells within and loves us with an everlasting love. This intense human struggle and surrender to our deepest heart and integrity is long and of great proportions -beyond our best abilities.

Let us reflect for a moment quietly on the burning issues of our lives today in the light of our certain death in the near or distant future. And let us connect for a moment to that wonderful and privileged place in each of our hearts where the One Who knows us intimately and with everlasting love speaks. "I love you. Your name is written on the palm of my hand. Do you love me? Act from your unique love and compassion and feed my lambs."
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