Last night, we discussed at length the subject of trembling. The focus was on Isaiah and his vision of God. We shared with one another experiences in our lives which caused trembling. There was Lorraine, who was held at gunpoint in the driveway of her house and lost her car to those men. There was Jane, who trembled in the presence of her dying mother as the room filled with an unseen peace. There was Cathy, whose dreams were so vivid and real they shook her awake. There was Jerry, whose leisurly hunting experience turned into a nightmare (and yet in the telling, got us all laughing).
I sat and listened to these stories and was reminded of the moments in my own life filled with trembling. I remember the first time I held Shepherd (and again when I held Colette), the trembling of my soul as it was overcome with joy. Or the time I stood in the middle of a dusty African village as dusk fell and cast my eyes up into the most breathtaking night sky. I close my eyes, and try to recapture the trembling I felt as I stood there, soaking in the grandious heavens, my heart skipping a beat as the tears streamed down my dusty cheek without reason or explanation. Yes there were other moments when fear overcame me and I trembled with all of my might, but the trembling I experienced on that African savannah and the trembling I felt when I held my first born son came from a much deeper place within me, a place long forgotten and long ignored.
We shared these stories, and reflected on what keeps us from experiencing them more often. The conclusion was made that so often, we insulate ourselves from the life of the spirit through our hurried pace and our ever present need for something to do. So rarely do we sit to be still and to allow the awe of creation, the awe of the spirit to pierce our souls and awake from its slumber our cold and hardened hearts.
“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes – The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning