Finding The Quiet Places and Neglected Corners

In All Is Grist, Theologian G.K. Chesterton related how when he was a child he felt immense and sustained excitement during "long days in which nothing happened," and an immense sense of fullness "in large and empty rooms." 

He went on to say that out of all of his childhood feelings those two seemed to be among those that he retained, and still felt from time to time.  He wrote: 

I  still feel a very strong and positive pleasure in being stranded in quiet places in neglected corners where nothing happens and anything can happen... 

When I read that, I felt a sense of longing and a bit of sadness so I decided to chase that a bit and think deeply about what I was feeling.  

I found myself flooded with images from my childhood. 

I am playing in the yard outside the house we lived in when I  was small.  It's awash in sunlight, and I am sitting in one a sunny spot near a stump and watching a butterfly that landed on it...

It's a sunny winter day and  I am lying on my back in a snowdrift staring up at a bright blue sky, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face... the cold of the snow on my back...

I am sitting on the steps of a Lutheran Church near my house. It's dusk and I can see the sun setting behind the mountains off in the distance.  I am wishing I could sit there forever.  

The funny thing is, I still feel these feelings from time to time---lost as they often are among the cares of adulthood, the stresses of life, the distractions of the day.  

They come upon me suddenly and surprisingly.  There will be an empty room, a quiet place, a moment in the sun, and I feel the immensity of all of it deep within me, and it feels as if my heart might burst.  

Chesterton found something beautiful about all of this, and something that was an absolute necessity for us as we do our best to connect to the ineffability and vastness of God's presence around us and in us.  He wrote: 

It seems as if we needed such places and sufficient solitude in them, to let certain nameless suggestions soak into us and make a richer soil for the subconsciousness. 

In other words, the deep within us calls to the deep without us.  

There is something inside of you that longs for something or someOne bigger than you.  And sometimes you need the space to sit with that longing, and the places they take you in your thought life... your heart life...  

I think now more than ever we need to find those spaces and to sit quietly in them, to reconnect with the innocent, immensity of childhood dreams and feelings that we can't describe in words, but can only know within the very depths of ourselves. 

May you find quiet places and neglected corners today and every day forward where you can simply be, and know that you are not alone in the Universe in spite of your unknowing, and occasional lostness.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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