I heard the singer before I saw him: a deep natural voice and a lilting folk song.
He was free and was singing of it: without agenda, anxiety or ambition; alone on a bicycle and together with the universe around him.
Clearings do as they say if we accept their invitation to sit and be. What is tangled, busy, anxious and self-preoccupied can be released into the space they offer. God begins to unravel us if only we allow the room.
Could God be like this: so generous, patient and persistent? Is that other God of demand and fear a projection of all that is wounded and wounding in humankind? What might happen if we dared – in spite of our fears – to act as if it were so?
Luke's Gospel introduces us to Martha, who welcomes the traveller, Jesus, into her home. She provides him not just with food, but a place to rest and to be among friends. Others see Jesus as the preacher and healer – someone who will give them what they need. Martha sees the human being who is hungry and tired; she asks nothing of him. Martha is a spiritual woman, attentive to what is going on in the moment, and able to look beyond her own needs to make room for the unexpected guest.
The attentiveness of silence and the generosity of love are recognitions of mystery. At some point ‘I’ stop and the other begins...creation begins...God begins. The ‘I’ must stop to allow the other to come near. And the other is always surprising, beyond the limits we might want to impose.