Kitchen in my house used to be my favourite room here; and that was before I started to like cooking. I loved this kitchen because of the view. I used to pray here a lot, and though I often say that we do not need to be alone in order to cultivate inner silence and peace, at times we do. As I am alone here now I was drawn to reconnect with God. I look through the window, the view at one time reminded me of Heaven. God is Heaven, His presence and the knowledge of it is what makes the difference between Heaven and Earth. Today, now, I am reminded of Heaven. But not the one that comes in the future, after our death, but now, God who is present, now.
I used to think that God was the only one that matters; this comes from the Carmelite influences on my life.. I say this ‘used to’ with a certain nostalgia, but I guess instead of my search and longing for God that marked my 20’s, now He is the bigger frame in which everything else takes place. He is here, always, even when I am less aware of His presence, and my longing has shifted to other, existential longings. But in this moment sitting here, and now not even being alone as my housemate has joined me in the silence, I realise God is all in all. In all my searches and longings, He is. This makes me smile. He knows me so utterly and completely that none of it is a surprise for Him. Isn’t that what Heaven on Earth is? We journey through this life with God at our side, even when the journey appears rough.
God’s presence changes everything, and I mean everything. I could stay with this thought for hours. It’s one of those thoughts that we need to let slip into our mind like droplets of soft rain, drop by drop changing our inner being. In the background soft piano tones, from an online 3 minute retreat that I like, are gently watering my inner silence. The music hovers over the place, soothing the air, helping those drops to fall on my heart with ease and effect a change inside.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
You see, prayer changes everything. I am just remembering times in my life when that was very palpable and obvious. If it was true then, it still is. In prayer we not only speak to God, but we hear God’s word being spoken to us, beyond sound, in our inner silence it is planted like a seed that will grow in its own time. Prayer is an intimate communion of two hearts, God’s and mine.
What is the seed that God wishes to plant into your heart, your life, right now? “What is the seed you are planting in me?”, I asked God. The answer is my own to hear and keep. But you, if you so wish, go and ask the question for yourself. And then, listen. The Sower is passing by, right now, near your house, near your door, by your kitchen or where you work, no matter where you are, He is already there, ready to make a difference inside your heart.
Drop by drop like raindrops of His grace, may God’s presence change our lives.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 17th September 2014)
Photo by © Iva B.