I have been haunted since first learning about the Desert Mothers about what it was to be in the Wilderness, to be stripped down before God. If you haven't heard about the Desert Mothers these were women who yearned for a complete union with God . Who through embracing abundant simplicity, went into the desert, where stripped of worldly concerns and influences, fought to remove any and all obstacles in the pursuit of communion with God.
In this yearning they sort to make space for God and too quote “actively cultivate a burning love for God”.
Non attachment and non possessiveness were essential. Although they cared for those around them they were not tied them. They also sort to mortidy what were seen as disordered passions, demons of fornication and lust that were seen as distractions from a deepening relationship with God.
This journey called one into relationship that was both deeply intimate and vulnerable.
Several weeks ago I took a God Talk at Theology House entitled "Into the Wilderness: A reflection on the early Desert Mothers and our own journeys in the urban wilderness" since then I have been as I said haunted by questions such as "In the Wilderness how does the tomb become the womb. Anyway here is a reflection on the first few days of madness alone.
Lord I ache
it feels like I have searched for you so long
what have I done that I can no longer hear you?
Lord Have mercy
Lord its me
I cut of my hair for you, but I am torn
If you come to me now, how will I wash your feet?
For my vanity
Christ have mercy
Lord I thought I saw your eyes in the night
I imagined I had finally done enough to be with you
But it was a sand cat
And when it blinked and I was reminded a thousand times of my presumption,
for my sin
Lord have mercy
Lord I screamed today, heard my voice bounce of valley walls a hundred times
The silence ached in its solitude
It craved to hear a word
And that’s how it began
But the belly demanded more and I screamed and screamed
But all I heard, was me
Saying too much
Saying too loud
I cover my mouth
Weak in my will
Christ have mercy
Lord I begged for food today when I should embrace the raging hunger that sits with me daily,
I ate crickets and old fruit
Turned by back on demons,
Thought of you and fell down
I thought if I could just stop the rumbling below
Maybe that which is underneath
The dark me
The raging me
The terrified broken me-unacceptable in your sight, may disappear
But instead she just aches to be before you
For that which I have kept hidden
Graceful, Loving , Laughing Lord Have
Mercy have mercy
For just a moment in this magnificent day