Yesterday, I received an email for The Upper Room–a daily devotion I subscribe to. It talked about going though every room in your home and blessing it as a way to make room for the coming of Christ, which I thought was a wonderful idea. I did not get around to actually doing it yesterday, but it was on my mind.
As I passed the room of our 20 year-old son (now in Colorado) I thought about blessing that room. The room is turned upside down with piles and stacks of stuff. I wondered if there was any reason to bless that ignored messy room. Then, the saying “bless this mess” came to mind.
“Sure, I could use God’s help with blessing this mess. Maybe that would get me to spend some time in here trying to put things back together. Maybe I want to clean it before I bless it. If I did that it might not get done. Would God even want to bless this mess?,” were some of the things that came to mind.
My thoughts did not go much further than that yesterday; however, today the idea of blessing each room rose up again.
I have been starting each day with morning pages (I will talk about what that is at the bottom of this post). I was pondering how I was writing about God as if God were not in the room. I wanted to start directing my words as prayers directly to God. Then, I started to think about all the places God could be in the room. Could God be in the brush that painted the painting on the wall. Could God be in the paint, the colors, even the paper? Could God be in the wood of the furniture, the fabric of the upholstery, the carpet, the floor, the walls and the ceiling? I then said a little prayer that God would bless the room and all who would enter it these next few weeks of Advent and Christmas. I asked God’s love to be here, in this place, and in the hearts of all who visit.
Along with the morning pages, I am also journeying with 2 books, which I read each morning. One is Open the Door by Joyce Rupp, and the other is The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom by Christine Valters Paintner. The chapter for today in The Artist’s Rule was titled Sacraments of Daily Life. At the very top of the page she quotes the Rule of St. Benedict:
“Let him regard all the utensils of the monastery and its whole property as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar.”
I pondered what “..sacred vessels of the altar” meant. What do we hold in the vessels of the altar? The body and blood of Jesus Christ, was the answer that came quickly to mind. So, if we embrace the idea that Christ is everywhere, why can’t he be in the physical wood and walls of our homes?
The book by Joyce Rupp talks about opening the door to our heart and soul–our interior home or as St. Teresa of Avila refers to as our “inner castle.” Both of these refer to our inner home, a place we cannot physically see with our eyes. It is the place I think about when I ponder my faith. Yet, God has given us eyes to physically see as well. Can I use my physical eyes to ponder God? I believe God is in my home. I just need to recognize God more.
Cleaning out our homes and preparing for the coming of Christ can be both physical and metaphoric. Some rooms are harder to clean that others. Yet, even if our rooms are messy, we can still make a pathway.
Come, Lord Jesus…Immanuel, God with us. I welcome you into my heart and home.
Click here for information about the book, The Artist’s Rule.
Click here for more information on the book, Open the Door.
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Click here for more information on the book, The Artist’s Way
Morning Pages come from a suggestion by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way . The idea is to write 3 pages of whatever comes to mind. They are not for anyone else to read but you (if you even want to.) You are not to be worried about spelling, sentence structure, or punctuation. You are not supposed to hesitate writing something for any reason.
At first, I found myself writing stuff in the margins that I needed or wanted to do. For instance, “Wash windows” as I saw how streaky they were with the morning light shining through. It actually helped me get stuff done that might not get done as quickly otherwise. I might have passed those streaky windows many times each day, but did not have the time to clean them then, or I did not take the time to write down that I needed to do it. At first I thought that was why the pages were so useful.
After about a week, I went back and read what the purpose was again. The purpose is to get rid of the little “censor” that tends to block our creativity– that censor that says…that’s stupid…you can’t do that…. They are the things that squelch our creativity. By writing and ignoring the censor telling you to spell correctly, write correct sentences, or not to write something down, for instance, you start the day by shoving that sensor out of the way.
It is pretty amazing that you don’t even need to know why you are doing it and it works. You could say that I was pushing the procrastination censor aside when I wrote down to clean the streaky window. I did not have to take the time to clean them all, like the censor might say. I would just do the one.