The Sound of Silence: Stretching the Muscle Bound Heart

I am sharing a few of my journal entries from a three day silent directed retreat held by Christview Ministries at Little Portion Retreat Center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas April 13-15, 2012.  

This morning I did yoga for the first time in many months. I don’t why I chose it today, perhaps unconsciously I thought to stretch and relax my body would do the same for my mind.

My usually flexible and pliable muscles were tight and achy and groaned at the movement. Not unlike the spiritual muscle of my heart.

I’ve been working hard at ministry lately. Serving. Doing. Accomplishing great things for the Kingdom.

And none of that is bad or even outside God’s will, but my heart is bound up by all the heavy lifting.  Like a weightlifter who builds giant muscles, but can’t bend over to tie his shoes, my heart has grown inflexible and muscle bound.

As I stretched, Jesus said, “I prepared for you, Cari. Trust me. Let down the walls and trust me.”

Oh Jesus, please come. Come for me here in this place. I’m waiting for you to just be here with me. I came with questions and requests for guidance and I let them go…I just give them all to you right now.  I don’t need answers, Jesus…I just need you. Holy Spirit, come…I invite you here. Stretch me. Relax me. Be with me here. Come.

3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them.

– 2 Chronicles 29:3

36 And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced because God had provided for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.

– 2 Chronicles 29:36

“You provide the fire. I’ll provide the sacrifice. You provide the Spirit, I will open up inside.”

The Sound of Silence: Harmony Creates Tension

I am sharing a few of my journal entries from a three day silent directed retreat held by Christview Ministries at Little Portion Retreat Center in Eureka Springs, Arkansas April 13-15, 2012.  

Evening Prayers, called Compline, are the only time we meet as a group. Our directors call it group worship and my heart yearns for music, but I’m learning to worship without a song and that’s not a bad thing.

We prayed antiphonally and it was beautiful harmony- the voices of these women- raspy from non-use- speaking the 91st Psalm together.

I was unsettled for a moment as the women’s voices speaking in unison came very near the sound of a Wiccan chanting circle.

This is a new sensation for me, this mirroring of my past life. But more and more, I find myself caught off guard by a similarity. Things I have done for years now in my Christian walk will now remind me of rituals or circumstances from my old occult ways.  I find it startling- and I wonder if God has kept this revelation from me until now when I have the maturity and spiritual support to handle it.

So now I find myself back in my room.  Listening to a storm blow strong across the mountain and spilling these words onto paper. My jaw holds this tension like a clamp. My head aches with the force of it and I’m no sure how to relieve the pressure there. I suppose that means that maybe the fear has subsided, but the anxiety still remains, and I am not sure what to do with that, but I know God does so I just sit with it for a while longer and pray that tomorrow will be more comfortable and I just know that it will far exceed my expectations.