16 May 2020
A Moment to Reflect- 17
Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ [Luke 10:38-40]
The world needs people who get things done and don’t just sit around talking all the time, does it not? The world needs people of action; people who make things happen.
But… as the previously quoted D. H. Lawrence said: “One’s action ought to come out of an achieved stillness: not to be a mere rushing on.”
If we don’t take time to listen to what God is saying to us, how will we know what are the right things to be doing at any particular time? Whether as individuals, or as a community of faith?
These days as we all try to adjust to an unfamiliar and uncertain situation, hemmed in by various physical restrictions and mental anxieties can we nevertheless find time to listen for what God might be saying to us in the midst of the chaos?
I’m reminded of this quotation from the Irish novelist, Niall Williams,
“Doing nothing at all is often the very wisest thing … as the world is a ball and is turning and everything is in fact in motion all the time, doing nothing is not really doing nothing, it’s allowing things to move at their own pace” ― Niall Williams, Boy in the world
Following on from that thought, Henri Nouwen’s words find a deeper resonance:
“Your community needs you, but maybe not as a constant presence. Your community might need you as a presence that offers courage and spiritual food for the journey, a presence that creates the safe ground in which others can grow and develop, a presence that belongs to the matrix of the community. But your community also needs your creative absence.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love