|Following the Golden Thread
Winter has secrets it wishes to share with us.
In the cocoon of quietness
we finally hear the gentle voice of God.
From that place where He hovers over our darkness,
our sense of void and emptiness,
He says, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:2-3).
His voice rings clear like the
stroke of a bell on a crisp winter’s morn.
His voice is unmistakable!
It sounds like a tuning fork.
We resonate with the reverberations of His warm breath.
The voice is full of authority, calmness, restfulness
and is merciful, gentle, pure,
easy to be received, sincere, fair and yields good fruit. (James 3:17).
God comes in the gentle whisper.
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face” (I Kings 19:11-13).
Winter has a way of dulling our senses.
Hearing takes incredible focus and concentration.
God is always speaking…
it is us who can not hear.
His gentle whisper continuously is endeavoring
to warm the hearth of our heart.
Even the journey towards awakened listening
is fashioned by God’s graciousness.
We respond as best we can.
At times we grope in the dark
for some piece of light shining through a glass darkly.
The intensity of concentration is sharpened
in the long winter months and a new glowing ember appears.
We finally arrive at a point where our inner tuning
picks up a good, vibrant signal of God’s voice.
It is like turning the dial on a radio
to pick up the exact frequency a program we wish to hear.
Eventually, we become skilled
at coming to this sacred place daily.
Listening is a craft to be learned.
After months of silence,
we begin to hold the fragile words we hear.
Some days, we run with them too quickly and we loose them.
Other days, we lose focus.
We may go through shorter periods of silence again until we can hear.
With practice we begin to hold the thread gently.
Our tendency is to grab at the thread
and craft it in some fashion.
Then the thread breaks.
If we try to “take charge” and command these stirrings,
we will quickly grow cold again.
These threads are meant to be followed.
God is in the process of crafting something.
In the winter months we learn
the discipline of following along.
We are in the realm of soul (and not ego).
William Blake wrote,
“I give you the end of a golden thread.
Roll it into a ball.
It will lead you into heaven’s gate,
built in Jerusalem’s wall.”
Rolling the thread gently and carefully
into a ball will lead us right into the heart of God.
This “soul time” may take months
and possibly years of following along.
We learn to tend the delicate words.
As we carry this thread we begin to warm again.
We feel the gentle throb of life
and sense God’s breath warming the embers of our hearts.
Although we don’t know its shape,
something new is being fashioned and will lead us home.