Dear Jesus, There are hundreds of subjects upon which I have paused to meditate. Some have born more fruit than others. Many have ended up in these letters to You. I’ve seldom stopped to consider the relative importance of one over another. Thus it strikes me as somewhat out of character to single out any one particular subject for meditation. Nonetheless I find it quite easy to say I think one of the most important subjects a person can meditate upon concerns God’s greatest creation – man! What is God’s creative image of the being we call ‘human’? When I meditate on this I think of the conception, design, image, and purpose God intended for His creature. I think of the preternatural prototypes of Eden as the embodiment of His plan. I think of pet-like unconditional love, innocence, dependence and obedience embraced in the image and likeness of God Himself. But God did not wish His creation to be a robotic pantomime of His divine ideal. He wanted man to freely choose to embrace these gifted elements – to choose to be what He wished man to be – or not! And I think about how this is the point at which we take God’s conception of man into our own hands. We are aware that our will to do this is itself His gift – and we still meddle with it! Things have not changed. God still wishes us to choose what He planned us to be and we still opt to make ourselves according to our own plan. Then we hope in His loving mercy. We are not really far removed from Adam and Eve. It’s tough to be a perfect human being! There’s too much love and selflessness involved. Love, humility, and obedience were included in the design of man, but so was the option to ignore them. And we did! Thus they were lost as gifts and we now must strive for the grace to regain them – a grace God freely gives to those who seek it. God knew it would be this way. In a moment of seemingly sympathetic concession He have us You – the new Adam – to model the perfection of His greatest creation. Scripture paints for all time a vivid picture of this Model. The panoramic view of who we are is an eminently important meditation because it presents us with pictures of both the stages of man’s evolving relationship with God and God’s reaction, throughout these stages, to His creations.
Dear Jesus, The quest we take up toward ultimate union with the absolute we call God encompasses a journey marked by increasingly delicate subtleties the farther we travel the path. Connections which seem coincidental become, with contemplation, less coincidental. Paradoxes demurely bloom into truths less hidden. Our hearts become more adept at recognizing the tiny whisper of God Himself. In many ways life’s journey is a whispered quest. From within the movements of our daily routines, our encounters with others, and our encounters with ourselves there is always a whispered voice from somewhere deep within us. It is mostly ignored but it persists undaunted. When we listen to it with attention it urges us in certain directions on our paths. But it never hollers, browbeats, or demands. Life and culture have trained us to respond most attentively to what is shouted, barked or passionately orated at us. But God’s voice is not found in that type of delivery. When we do not have to put much effort into hearing what is said, what is said is frequently not worth hearing. Yet it is the effort and focus necessary to hear what is barely audible that engages our hearts and imaginations. That which blasts our ears often provokes knee-jerk reactions. That which is whispered is more likely to promote thoughtful consideration. The journey is a whispered quest!