white space holds the story

Worrying causes us to be all over the place,
but seldom home.

Henri Nouwen, Making All Things New

When we get quiet and still and alone with the Holy, we should hear gospel.

That is, the gospel story that God loves us and bent down to reach us in Jesus. We each matter to Him and to this world. He knows us heart and soul. He sees our circumstances, our losses and our fears.

“So—who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy. Look at the night skies:
Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night,
counts them off, calls each by name —so magnificent! so powerful!— and never overlooks a single one?.

Isaiah 40:25-26, The Message

I realize that may not be what we hear in the silence and the solitude, that God has not overlooked us. Eve didn't hear it. What she heard was doubt about God's goodness and that he might be holding back from her. The snake introduced a sliver of doubt that breached her open relationship with God and took away her trust in Him. She had the whole garden, but reached for the apple.

When we finally quiet the chaos, stop the doing and step out of the fray, the first thing that might rush in are our doubts and worries about ourselves and the God who loves us. Our busyness may be able to push our worries and fears beneath the surface, but there they lurk for a better day. If we can resist the desire to grab the apple or to run back to busyness and hide, we might get the true story, as my mama used to say, the gospel truth.

The gospel truth is that no matter how it feels, God has broken the spell and set us free.

Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers;
The snare is broken, and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 124:7

God is for us. The truth is He calls us into deep soul-filling relationship with Him, to know Him and be known by Him, here and now and past the stars. His name is Known.

You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.

Psalm 56:8-9

So, one challenge of carving out white space for soul keeping is to stay there long enough in the gospel truth to quiet the snake and straighten out his lies.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

Psalm 91:1-4

Let's remind each other not to grab for the apple or run and hide. Let's encourage one another to tuck under the wing of The Holy. That spot close to the heart of God is our true home and has been secured by the love and sacrifice of our Savior. And that's the Gospel Truth.

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