The Weight of Glory

white florets e

“The grass has to stand very still as it holds its precious ‘weight of glory’ – and so has the soul on whom the dew of the Spirit comes.  Literally, as easily as this dew, His dew is brushed off – some of us know it to our cost.  An impulse of impatience, a sense of hurry or worry allowed to touch us, a mere movement of the self-life against His checking and He is gone, and our soul stands stripped and bare.  Noiseless must be His Holy Habitation within us.”                        Diary   30 June 1885

Five women (one via conference phone!) meet for four days united in singleness of purpose.  We have chosen a place, set apart, free from routine activity. The old world charm and natural beauty of the historic inn promises the possibility of refreshment of body and of  spirit.

We know what we hope to accomplish:  to explore broader venues to present and access the unique legacy of Lilias Trotter:  art. . .  writing. . .  life. . .  We agree to the importance of her contribution – spiritual, artistic, ministry – during her lifetime and recognize its significance, presently, in our own lives.  We believe her to be relevent, today, to people aching for reasoned spiritual clarity, role models and meaning beyond themselves.

What we don’t know is how and where God wants to use her – or us.  So we come humbly before God, seeking to ascertain and obey His bidding.  Toward that end, we dream and discuss and deliberate – then stand back, so to speak, and release our thoughts to God’s purposes.  We search our hearts for our motives and for indication of anything that could possibly impede the work of God’s Spirit in us and through us.  Repeatedly. Throughout the week.

Home again, my “take away” (beyond the task at hand) is a renewed desire to be sensitive to “the dew of the Spirit.”  In a context solely devoted to a single purpose, we were focused and intentional.  Continually (and in community) we returned to the stance of supplicant conscious of anything that could brush off the dew of the Spirit.  But back, now, to the fragmented reality of my daily life it is so easy to forget.  To become careless or indifferent or, dare I confess, disobedient.

Lilias looked to the dew-bearing blades of grass.  Absolute stillness was requisite to hold its’ precious ‘weight of glory.’  The soul, on which the the dew of the Spirit comes, likewise, must remain still and quiet.  She observes how easily this “dew” can be brushed off:  “An impulse of impatience, a sense of hurry or worry allowed to touch us, a mere movement of the self-life against His checking.”  

“Noiseless must be His Holy Habitation within us.”  Challenged by Lilias’s life and words, I pray for stillness of heart – not only during those unique times when consciousness is heightened by commitment and community – but daily through personal desire and intention.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Daniel Iverson

Painting:  Travel Journal 1895

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