Sunday, August 7, 2011

Single-mindedness..The Herb of Grace

 The Herb-of Grace: Rue

I stumbled across one of my favourite all time authors on a random visit to one of my great-aunts on Vancouver Island.Sister to my beloved maternal grandfather (affectionately named Bumpa) who died when I was 16, her book shelves were a treasure trove I could have raided for days. The visit was far too short, but the indelible impact of this author on my life has been without question...quite significant.

I first encountered her genius in a chidren's book entitled: 'The Little White Horse'. I am sorry to say that the book almost enticed me to remain inside when all of that luscious landscape out the window was calling for my undivided attention. 

Upon returning home with author's name and a list of  book titles I was pleasantly surprised to find several of her works at a secondhand book store and a library sale. 

Thus, came into my possession: " Pilgrim's Inn " Elizabeth Goudge.

I won't burden you with brief but insufficient references and synopsis... 
I will, however, leave you with some words...profound words that seep and sift through...and find resting places where roots dig down, go deep and fruit is borne out of darkness...reaching for the light..source of all life....

The following is an excerpt.....a conversation on single-mindedness
that has followed me ever since I first read it...

" I've always thought of single-mindedness as a sort of concentration..."

"Yes.Contraction.Everything gathered in for the giving of yourself.
The whole of you.Nothing kept back.No reservations.No loop-holes of escape. 
Like a diver taking the plunge or a man banging the door shut behind him
that locks itself so that he can't go back."

"You couldn't do that without repentance. I see that. 
You'd have to humble yourself before you could let go like that.
Pride can't let go.But compassion...???"

"That's the root of all giving, don't you think...
You can't hoard the beauty you've drawn into you; 
you've got to pour it out again for the hungry, however feebly, 
however stupidly. you've just got to.
It's very simple.
It's what T.S.Elliot calls:
...the 'condition of complete simplicity costing not less than everything.' "

I read those words again today and my heart cries for that gift of single-mindedness...

Teach me your way, LORD,
   that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
   that I may fear your name. 
~~ Psalm 86:11 ~~

And finally I leave all you sojourning souls..pilgrims on the journey...
...with encouragement in your struggles....

" This sense of futility...It's nothing, merely the reverse side of aspiration,
and inevitable, just as failure is inevitable. 
Disregard them both. 
What can we expect when we aspire as we do, yet remain what we are? 
Struggle is divine in itself, but to ask to see it crowned with success
is to ask for that sign which is forbidden to those 
who must  travel by faith alone. 
Each fresh leap of the flame from the charred wood 
lights your footsteps a little further through the dark. "

Today I rest in the knowledge that Salvation belongs to our God.
He is a consuming fire.
He can give me an undivided is His desire...His perfect will...

Trusting....His process in me today...

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