As we continue in our practice of silence and solitude, over time we begin to discover even our solitude begins to be transformed. In solitude where we create space to attune our hearts to the voice of God, where we confront our driven souls, and stay present to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, what we soon discover is our hearts have become a portable sanctuary which enables us to be present to Christ throughout our day. Solitude then ceases to be solely a place and begins to also be an inner quality of our hearts that we carry within us as we re-enter our world of busyness. Regardless of the circumstances or location, we now possess and internal reality of peace, compassion, mercy available to us and those we soon encounter. We are able to live and minister from a quiet center in a chaotic world.
In order to maintain this inner quality, however, there will always be necessary to maintain the “place” of solitude where it can be nurtured. My “place” is an overstuffed, brown leather chair next to and open window with a strategically-placed fountain outside. Every morning I begin my day in that place. I meet with Jesus. Silence is embraced. There is space for my soul to say what it needs to say in God’s presence. Prayers are offered. Scripture is pondered. Unknowingly, my heart is transformed in ways I’ve yet to understand and fully appreciate. (2 Cor. 3:18 “And we…are being transformed into his likenss with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”) In fact, it wasn’t until a crisis did I come to realize the fullest extent of that shaping and the absolute necessity of this ongoing process in my life. That story tomorrow.