Thursday, 11 June 2009


In leading us toward all that is good, prayer tends us toward a receptiveness of what is already available.
However infrequent I might feel my praying to be, in knowing that I have, in one way or another, repeated that one word from the heart, “Yes”, a few times in each day, I know that I have not failed to pray.
It is so simple and so effortless, but so utterly complete: - ‘Yes Lord. Your will be done’; and it is in following Him that the underlying joy is raised to consciousness where it soothes through even the worst of days. It runs through us, blending with God’s love, to quietly flow into the world around us.

‘Any joy that does not overflow from our souls and help other men to rejoice in God does not come to us from God.’
(Ruth Burrows. Guidelines for Mystical Prayer.)

I have been brought back once more to the question of fullness: being filled to the brim.
When I began writing here my sense of fullness and overflowing was so powerful that I was sure it was something peculiar to me; something particular given to me for a particular purpose and for a particular season. I had no thought of it coming to an end, but while feeling that it would remain for a long time, I could not be sure of its permanence. It was that strength of feeling that set me in motion on these pages. If I was not already doing this, I would not have any thought of starting it today.

But this is not a gift particular to me.
It had felt that way only because the sensation and accompanying level of understanding seemed so far beyond any previous experience. Growing accustomed to the ongoing wakefulness has enabled me to see that although the light within is indeed brighter than before, the dimmer switch, as it were, has only been turned up by the smallest of touches. The repetition of such adjustments as this – adjustments from excitement and a misplaced sense of awe, to actual truth and a more sober acceptance of reality – in response to small steps taken throughout life, gradually brings an awareness of our absolute incapacity to comprehend God, to see Him in the blinding radiance of His Glory, and to even begin to approach Him other than through the guidance, the teaching and the direction of His Holy Spirit.
My sense of fullness and overflowing readies me, enables me, empowers me to do whatever God may have me do, but it is not a precursor to some great calling or action. It is an awakening brought about by having been called and touched by God, and its realization is the inevitable consequence of knowing that I have been woken, and have dared to answer “Yes”.

Many things in our spiritual lives last only for a certain length of time: for a season; they fulfil a need and are gone. Whether experienced as positive or negative, they move us as God wills and then leave us. But other touches become permanent parts of us. They are part of our Lord’s will for us to tear down every veil that people still try to hang between themselves and God’s presence.

‘... he has destroyed the veil which used to veil all peoples, the pall enveloping all nations’ (Isaiah 25:7)

‘Jesus ... breathed his last. And the veil of the Sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. (Mark 15:37-38)

These life-bringing gifts are available to us all, meant for us all, and necessary to the binding together of all of us into one body. They are gifts freely given to all who knowingly stand in God’s sight. They are blessings that fall on all who position themselves beneath God’s hand. They are cloaks of security and strength placed around the shoulders of all who breathe in the Spirit of God, and who allow His Spirit to breathe in them. They do not denote a particular significance of purpose; they are not individual signposts for those who lack direction; still less are they grounds for any sense of achievement, congratulation, self-satisfaction, or elevated self-worth.
What they are is awesome in its simplicity. They are the material from which all our tents should be woven if we are ever to know unity and security in the deserts of the world: in those places where we are called to position ourselves where the veil of the Temple in Jerusalem once hung: positioned between God and the people, not as a separation, but as a means of access, reaching out in both directions, towards God and towards all who turn their face towards Him. Jesus has made us inseparable.

That is where the fullness and the overflowing truly find their purpose. Each of us becomes a channel for God’s love; we are in that eternal stream and we stand ready to point the way, to reassure and encourage, to support the weary, and to help the fallen to regain their foothold. We become stepping-stones for those who fear to enter the water.
But essentially we are there for each other, and so long as we maintain that strength of commitment and availability within our own encampment, we shall be there for every stranger who seeks the way. And strangers there will be. Some will come from the unlikeliest of quarters and we must be ready for them. The Holy Spirit is at work, not only within the recognizable boundaries of Christ’s Church, but throughout all the peoples of the world. It is the work of the Spirit abroad coupled with the work we allow Him to do through ourselves that will transform the whole of mankind; and along that road lies the redemption of the whole world.
Can we even begin to imagine what would follow if the People of the Old Covenant became fully aware that their Messiah had already come, and, en masse, they began to respond to His call to follow Him? It is not a fool’s suggestion, unless that fool be a fool for Christ. Who else, throughout their history, has been aware of and guided by (sometimes) the Spirit of God? Whose scriptures, scribed before the birth of Christ and proclaiming His future coming, do we revere as being the word of God? And what links the millions of Christians, Jews and Muslims of today’s world if it is not Abraham, the man we all think of as our father in faith? Be assured, however far away it may appear to be at times, the day will come. The day will come!
That is why we are called to take our place, not just anywhere, but wherever we are called to be. For most of us it will be where we already are; for some it will be in the remotest corners of our world; but for all of us, wherever we are in geographical terms, it is to be as an invitation, a welcome, a reassurance, and as a friend and follower of Christ to all who are yet to overflow with love for Him.

My fullness is not for a season; it is now a part of me. It is God’s freely given awareness of the potential of His touch and His power working in and through His people. It holds me in the gift of a knowledge that I am in the endless stream of His love. It is that stream which fills me to overflowing. Once fully in that stream, we become a part of the flow, and the stream broadens and deepens as we carry God’s word and His touch into the world around us.
All that is in me now recognizes that God wants me filled to overflowing, not for a season, but for the whole of my life. It is my life.
It is where He wants us all to be, not as a particular gift, but as a normal and natural consequence of our faith and of our obedience to Him.
God’s gift to me is not so much that He has made me brim full, and still less that I have the feelings of peace and calm that accompany it; it is that He has enabled me to understand that such fullness and overflowing is what awaits all of us. It is merely the essential start-point for the next stage of our obedience to His will.

Jesus is looking straight at us, and He continues to say those same words, “Come, follow me.”
It is a rare occurrence for me, but I have need of company, of guidance and support.
let us walk together.

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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