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


4 responses to “Trembling

  1. Wow, Corinne! Your writing made my heart tremble with joy and excitement that our study last night stirred something inside you, and that a “new leaf” is emerging. Keep your eyes and ears open for “God-sightings” that might cause your soul to tremble and shake–not out of fear but out of the sheer joy of being on an adventure with Him. You have a wonderful way of expressing what you feel and think. Keep it up!

  2. a little while ago I was having a particularly horrible weekend where I was on call, stressed, sleep deprived and discouraged spiritually, physically and emotionally.

    And I had one of these trembling moments out of the blue….God whispered to my soul…. I am in the dying child, I am in the elderly woman who so dehydrated she can’t lift her head, I am in the immigrant family who has been denied from Medicaid, I am in the teenage mother who is delivering a baby by herself. And I realize as you say in your post, that it is so easy to insulate ourselves from the spiritual world. We miss out on the joy, the wonder and the beauty that is Christ alive in humanity, in creation and in us.

    good post.

  3. my dear corinne… how blessed to read what, by the grace of God, is going on in your head and heart. i am awed that anybody cares anything any more about “trembling”. i mean, when was the last time i heard anybody even use the word… let alone with a positive connotation? i think of all the times the word is used in scripture, mostly to by those who “trembled before the LORD”. fascinating thread to spin out, huh? i pray the LORD’s blessing on this fresh endeavor of yours – and nobody you probably know has as good an idea as do i of the necessity of being still long enough to find those blessed moments for trembling, what with the 4 kids and all. i am blessed to see more than my fair share of it in my new life as a hospice nurse; i mean, folks tend to start trembling pretty bad when the doc says “time to start getting ready; you’ve got six months, probably less”. and i get to be there at the beginning of that journey to the end. just the thought sets me to trembling.

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