Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Such was the invitation/challenge I received upon entering the directed eight-day retreat at the Jesuits’ Eastern Point Retreat Center in Gloucester, Massachusetts. For thirty years I pored over my Jerusalem Bible, cross-referencing both testaments, dating significant verses, filling pages in my journal. For thirty years I sat by the ocean, entering its moods, smelling its innards, listening to its voice. For thirty years I sat across spirited directors, sharing dreams, laughter, some tears. For thirty years I received squeaky-clean cleansing, stashed away my retreat notes, and resolved to meditate more upon returning home.

For a few months it worked until life crammed the empty spaces of my psyche, my Jerusalem Bible unopened upon my reading table. True, I did peek at times, warmed at my scribbles and highlighting, but the God of Gloucester remained hidden, until the next retreat. Funny, he always showed up.

Not since 2014, though, have I been able to travel. My Jerusalem Bible still lies upon my reading table, unopened, my psyche unwatered, crusted with flotsam and jetsam.

 

Again, I’m hearing the invitation/challenge, Be still and know that I am God. No reason to delay, even if the God of Gloucester only hangs out by the Atlantic. I still have the August 2004 photo of myself searching—I’ve been there.

I must explore further—See, afresh, what’s out there, today.