Desperation & the Prayer of Relinquishment
The Gifts the Imagination Brings
Who is asking these questions? Am I still pondering the questions of my earthly father’s journey? Are my quandaries often the spillage of an unsettled Church asking more questions than trusting, wanting more answers than presence, desring God’s intervention but not His habitation?
The prayer of relinquishment has always been a primary signpost in the making manifest of this account I call my life. I find time & time again that my troubled inner voice is an indication of the heart’s lack of peace & resting. I say resting rather than “rest” for this is and needs be an active ongoing posture of the heart. I can never merely stop the disharmony between my heart & life as it is lived. It is out of & in this noise I learn to listen, to ponder, to wonder, to relinquish and then rest in the safety of my heart’s sense of belonging over & over again.
For creatives & those willing to walk into the unknowingness of letting go, most often this inner pose of relinquishment is an issue of submission. So much of life “feels” overwhelming and even dangerously out of control. In these moments of wrestling with the inner & outer clatter of dissonance and turmoil, I am allowing myself to see and know through the divine imagination of our Lord and Savior. I am “picturing” the state of my soul, the “camera pulling back long shot” of my life as best I can picture it becomes apparent.
Our calling to follow and walk like our Lord is one of immense passion and deposits an achingly forceful sway on our soul. The prayer of relinquishment brings me into the flow of God’s revealed mind as displayed in the life and words of His Son. The fullness of life never comes to us all at once. Our fragile humanity could not endure its radiant power and force. As some voices and characters barely register in our lives so some musings from the Father’s imaginative heart can be missed or interpreted as common grace. But when we allow ourselves to die to our old way of seeing and knowing and open ourselves up to a new song, a new color, a new feeling , or a new aroma, we find the very act of letting go brings new graces, even new sensate encounters with “Beauty” itself. This is the felt knowing of an ordered world with purpose and meaning.
Once again, for creatives, these graces often come in the form of wildly imaginative and inventive possibilities and ingenious hopefulness. There is a massively wideness & expansiveness to the hospitality that relinquishment’s graces bring. The cacophony presents contradiction and difficult choices that are costly and often painful. When we allow the letting go to be a prayer of surrender and abandonment to our limited scripting and obsessive need to narrow life’s beauty and intensity, then & only then does our very heart become a place of habitation for the Spirit of the Lord.
Here our heart becomes a house of wonders. At this still-point place in the heart, our prayer of relinquishment becomes a co-creative act that approaches holiness. Along with the Lord we co-create options, voices, interpretations, healings, & proclamations. We recognize that our lives our eternal, at least as we imagine them to be and that this story in never ending.
The prayer of relinquishment comes bearing gifts. One of the first most palpable is a sense of “seeing” in real time with the Father. Much like improvisational jazz we begin to hand over the ultimacies of life’s worth, meaning, and fragility and allow a new innocence to invade our relationships, our prayer lives, our worship, & our very source of being. Now, as our Lord revealed in holy writ, our innocence or childlike hearts begin to discover the presence of this other world…the Kingdom of God. Before, caught up in our worries and desires for life’s chaotic nature to just go away once and for all, we push away one of the very gifts we are given through redemption-boundless grace. Now grace abounds where the sin of worry and control were monstrously evident and active. Now our stories sense Someone else is the Real Teller & They know so much more than we do about our preciousness and very nature.
We are not simply here. From the foundations of the world we were imagined lovingly by a divinely resourceful Co-Creator. Awakened through prayer to our inner poverty we serendipitously discover our participation in something brimming with beauty & splendor when we surrender. Facing the eternal, our life long desire to belong discovers connection and for the ten thousandth time the world begins again…& again.
I relinquish today my fear of my smallness and limited ability to understand. I let go of my fear of being hurt, my tendencies to hoard and stash my gifts and bounty. I offer up hopefully my dream of a coming Kingdom. Here, the gaze of the beloved is enough. Here my heart’s clearer vision recognizes the ungrateful eye that waits for perfection. I am wonderfully flawed, continually I will find myself standing on the threshold, unable to enter until I prayerfully relinquish my anxious & bothered heart only to discover my story & the gifts stored up for me.