Sunday, July 19, 2015

QOTM...*: Ted Loder

(*Quote of the Month)

We’re back on our little acre in the woods. Here in the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I cannot say that it is easier to experience the ‘thin places’ of which the classic spiritual writers speak, those moments of greater spiritual translucence when God’s presence seems more palpable. Let’s just say we are always the more ready and eager to seek them out in these periods when we are less ‘…cumbered with a load of care…’ in the words of the old hymn; there are fewer loads to care about or preoccupy us here.

So when I come across a great quote that reminds me of this truth, surrounded as we are here with nothing but God’s natural beauty, my spirit is arrested, tugged quickly to a slower pace as a bungee cord attached behind me to my belt loop, or as sand in shallow water catches and slows a canoe. I share this blessing with you who also find in the natural world a constant or at 
least regular reminder of the graces of God.

…At certain moments
     when sunlight strikes just right,
     or stars pierce the darkness just enough,
     or clouds roll around just so,
     or snow kisses the world into quietness,
everything is suddenly transparent…
and something in me is pure enough
     for an instant
to see your kingdom in a glance,
and so to praise you in a gasp –
          then gone,
               but it is enough.

This excerpt is from the poetry collection Guerillas of Grace by Methodist minister Ted Loder, quoted extensively in Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership (a great book, by the way). What do you think? Can you relate to it? There are moments when I’m so caught up by a serendipitous snatch of God’s beauty that my eyes widen, a lump rises in my throat and I feel I could walk through a portal straight into heaven. As Loder says, it’s quick but so worth it. How about you?

~~ RGM, July 17 2015

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