Mark Rothko. No. 3. Yale University Art Gallery
At the heart of our reality there is neither an endless recycling of a bland and sterile existence nor a silent and mute indifference, but rather One Who loves. In giving us his love, God gives us his Spirit which is our hope of glory—it is who we are in our truest self. It lies buried beneath the crumbling walls we have built to try to protect our hearts from the onslaughts and pain of the world. God waits and woos us in the very midst of those ruins. Even now, as crushed as we might feel, we are participating in God’s divine life. How are we to believe and live from this place? It is all desire. Ask God endlessly for more intensity of desire.
We ask tamely for things we should be haunting God for. God does not need to be coaxed to answer our prayer, but we arouse His pleasure when we demonstrate we believe He is our defender and only option. Some things cannot be given until we have prepared and proven our spirits; until God finds in us depth and greatness of faith. When we pray with intense desire and importunity in the face of His silence, we demonstrate our faithfulness and deepen our readiness to receive the goodness we seek.
Jesus, knowing his disciples would be tempted to lose hope and give up praying, told them the strange story of a poor widow who relentlessly annoyed a thick-skinned, cruel, and unmerciful judge, pleading for justice and demanding her rights. She was totally convinced he was the only person who could grant her what she needed, so she persevered with importunity. She annoyed him so much that he finally gave up and granted her what she wanted just so she would leave him alone. Then Jesus asked them, “Don’t you know that God, the true judge, will grant justice to His chosen ones who cry out to Him all night and day? He will pour out His spirit on them. He will not delay to answer you and give you what you ask for. He will give swift justice to those who don’t give up. So be ever praying, ever expecting just like the widow was with the judge.” He ended the story with this pivotal question; “When the Son of Man comes back, will he find this kind of persistent faithfulness in his people?”1
Will He find it in us? Are we depending exclusively on His mercy? To this end, let us urge ourselves to holy greed—asking, seeking, and knocking with importunity—until we become ones in whom the Son of Man finds faithfulness. May our heart’s desire for God be intensified as we respond to the Love waiting within us, continually coming to Him in prayer.
Beloved, embrace me in the dark night of my praying, in the deep silence of my offering, in the confrontation of my dying. Beloved, enable me by faith to know You without seeing You, by hope to possess You without feeling Your presence, by love to desire You above all desires. Beloved, grant that I might put all faith in love for You, all hope in love for You, to know that all desires fail but one: my desire to be loved by You. BWS2
- Luke 18:1-8
- The Hidden Life Awakened p.78