Becoming A Contemplative Community
Recently I blogged about a conversation I had with E.J about the place of solitude, silence, and prayer in the life of believers. Another little interesting shift I see taking place in the life of our community is this organic transition into the contemplative lifestyle. There are a few of us (Christy, Sean, and myself) who had been pretty heavily influenced by Chris and Susan Berglund, good friends of Lou Engle and formerly IHOP’s resident papa in contemplative prayer. But for the most part no one in our house church had ever heard of contemplative prayer.
But a few week ago, I worked up enough guts to pick up Theresa of Avila’s “ Interior Castle,” a book which in the past had utterly confused me. And as I was reading it and seeking the Lord, I suddenly got this divine perspective on what God is doing in our midst. Though we’ve talked very little about it, Kevin, Aroea, Christy, Bryan, Sean, and myself are either reading books by contemplatives or practicing the contemplative lifestyle regularly. This has been a wholly organic, self-initiated work of God in our midst. No one planned it and no one organized it. It’s so beautiful!
The amazing thing is that the Lord spoke to us about 6 months ago about the nature of this house church and He spoke about things that were directly related to what we’re going through right now. The Lord had called us a “root cellar,” or a place where people could sink their roots down into the love of God and prepare for difficult seasons. He also said that part of the five year experiment that He has initiated with this house church would involve the Lord teaching us about connecting with Him at a heart level. All of this was frustrating me a month or two ago, because I could not bring it to pass. And now, the Lord is doing it sovereignly in our midst.
The result is I’m beginning to trust the Lord to do the things He’s said. I’m becoming a little more content just to do my part, when He tells me, and not stress out about what I’m not doing or what is not happening. And it’s freeing my heart to connect with Him more.
Hmmm…this will probably require me to write about what contemplation is….