Eight women came together last weekend.
Eight women in a monastery guest house, down a country road from the monastery proper, each assigned her own separate room. They shared a dinner, then gathered for worship and information, and then they entered…
For thirty-six hours thereafter, they maintained and lived and soaked up that silence, solitary in their rooms or in and out of each other’s presence, giving a nod or a little wave of the hand and a smile, no one intruding in anyone’s way.
Some sat and read, some wandered the grounds, some hiked the woods and the river path. Some sat with Bible and notebook or journal spread on the desk in the hall or the picnic table outside. Some colored or doodled or painted. One or two plugged ear buds into their hearing and listened to calming, soothing music. Another few listened to breezes and bird-sounds out in the beautiful autumn weather and watched in a sort of reverie as golden leaves cascaded from tall trees, catching light as they fell, while in the blue background long v’s of geese flapped and honked their hearts out, on the first lap of their long journey toward winter warmth and light.
Eight women shared a kitchen and a dining room, various sitting areas in parlors and sunrooms and porches, and odd bath and shower and “powder” rooms through the house. Each cooked her soup or toasted her bread or brewed her tea or assembled her sandwich without a spoken word.
And it was good. Good to be free from the tyranny of the urgent, the strings of the internet, the interrupting ring of the telephone which must be answered if your business is at home and you live in it and “never go home from work.” Good to be guarded from all intrusion and disruption of sweet and solitary communion with God, even in the company of others.
So, it was enough, just that, and something to be grateful for when we came together for worship and sharing just before noon on the last morning.
But then God…
broke it all wide open!
And hearts were moved, and tears flowed and choked up testimonies, and the Kleenex box got passed around, and eyes blinking tears shown through with joy, and new bonds formed that will not easily be broken. And eight women requested an email list…
To share more words
born out of wordlessness
with Him who is The Word.
Women shared their darkness that day—and how their Light broke through. How appropriate, then, the collage for today.
And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. -John 1:5
Bible verses shared together that day:
The theme word for the weekend was “Omniscient.”
He is with you.
PS. He also works all things together in astounding ways. I said at this post’s beginning that eight women came together. But it wasn’t really that simple. The last two only ended up there by strange and wacky happenings, coincidences, last minute opportunities, and, clearly, the intervening and provisioning hand of God. And without the presence of those two attendees, none of the “breaking open” would have happened. Further evidence to support the truth of the cited scripture verses above. A phenomenal weekend!
Previous posts in this series:
Day 23 Collage: Start Something New Before Finishing the Now