Monday, May 31, 2010


Sometimes contemplation can be so intimate that I instantly pull away. Often, when I get a sense of impeding extreme closeness, I instinctively start chattering. It is at that point that I often feel a subtle pressure on my lips, sealing them against the chatter. Then, I put up all manner of personal boundaries, in lieu of the chatter, to avoid intimacy beyond my comfort zone. On one level, I want the intimacy and am drawn to it; on the other hand, I find myself instinctively backing off from what I want. I wonder how others are able simply to accept.

For the most part, I understand where these boundaries come from although that understanding does not necessarily help me to avoid putting them up at the very next opportunity.
- We teach our kids to set and respect boundaries. Boundaries are very important to Americans. So, is it any surprise that I would instinctively set up boundaries with God? (I don't want to, but habit is so strong...);

- Then there is touch. We are taught not to touch. Managers, especially, are taught not only to be careful about touch (oh, do I violate that restriction often) but also to know in depth all the EEO regulations (the ones I violate on a regular basis);

- Personal violations that I have experienced -- physical and sexual abuse -- make it difficult to remove the boundaries and certainly difficult not set them up in the first place.

When I am conscious of my own thought, I pull back the most strongly and/or establish the thickest boundaries. Perhaps that is why meditation is nigh onto impossible for me. I am conscious of what is going on in my mind as well as, to a lesser extent, in my environment. Likewise, perhaps that is why contemplation, over which I have little control (no thinking involved at all), is easier for me and more meaningful to me. Communication with God and relationship building happens for me only when I am unaware and unsuspecting, when I have no conscious thought, when everything depends on God and nothing on me.

Recently, in a moment of feeling guilty about my self-established barriers, I asked God, “What kind of relationship do you want me to have with you?” In response, I felt a touch on my hand, then felt myself being drawn very tenderly, very closely into a figure without limits that I can only describe as pure love transparently embodied. I was instantly enveloped in a depthless embrace that moved me to tears.

What an offering! What a promise! I am highly grateful for it, so why can I not simply accept it? Why, at the last minute, do I often pull away? I wish it weren't so, but God had a lot of work yet to do on me so that I can simply accept in full (rather than in part) the depthless, boundless love that He offers.


  1. This is beautiful.."depthless embrace". I believe it is so true if we could but receive it. However, I at times draw away from the intimacy. Especially when I'm confused or hurting.

  2. My mom always says that God can work past anything and I believe it. I know that not everyone thinks this but - I believe each and every one of us are called to deep union with God. I don't understand why so many people think its just for saints when we are all God's children.

  3. I just noticed these comments as I was writing a follow-up post on relationship. Odd. I usually am aware of comments because I have to approved them. I guess it is just an example of my absent-mindedless.

    Cheri, thanks for sharing your experience. We are a perverse people, aren't we? We pull away from the very thing we need and want.

    Mary, I agree with you. From what I have seen, limited though it may be, I don't believe God holds Himself back from anyone. We are the ones to put up the barriers.