Some books have staying power. They grip the soul. This one did as I was in the process of living out the hurts in my heart. I took a one hour retreat once a week to get away from it all. To be alone. With God. Tired. Sad. Hopeless. He met me there. I share here a few bits about my book with some selected narrations. Enjoy.
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Lookout Point, Paradise, CA.
The Lookout is a place I visited for one hour each week for a year, starting with Good Friday in 2009.
About my book: The Meeting Place: Moments with God at Lookout Point
The Meeting Place is an inspirational book, written from the heart as I grapple with sorrow and pain. I am saddened by the loss of a dear friend and dealing with an emotionally charged family situation. The book is a conversation with God, both poignant and tender. The beauties of nature found at the Lookout figure into the meditations.
The Lookout became my place of release, its view inspiring me to contemplate and pray. There I found solace and healing. I received in a seamless blend the awe of creation knit with my belief in a loving and caring God.
“A heavy shadow engulfed me, my heart was bruised. I could not escape its torment, the garment of sadness restricting my movements. I hurt. The dark night wrapped itself around me as grief invaded my being….I let my car lead me past the church through the bright city streets and onto the Skyway, a four-lane expressway leading east from the city into the foothills. In silence I drove up the hill, memories flooding my weary thoughts.“
The beauty captivates me.
I write a poem:
“The hawk-soaring in graceful circular patterns/Floats in seamless style/The clouds-in varied hue and shades of darkness/Black and white/Dew drops hang-on man-made fence lines/My senses feel their cool wetness/Layers upon layers of dark heavy clouds/Hiding the supreme whiteness of others/The damp drops brushing me in mist/as dark cloud hovers/Releasing its heavy load/The sun-hidden for these moments/The brightness subdued in grey screen…”
The pain surfaces:
“(The concrete block) has a statement to memorialize the person they loved–someone they must have lost at this place. It makes me think of my sister, who I lost in a similarly tragic way. I feel like I am standing by her grave site in Oregon where she is laid to rest. It is a crushing feeling. I think this block with its poem is a memorial in memory of the many we have loved and lost, so fitting today with my youngest son’s friend’s memorial service. … I hurt for his family. I think of all of those who lost their lives at this place. … They met their death–and their respective families absorbed a pain of deepest chill. Life goes on, but life is never the same. I think of all the people who have loved and lost–the empty arms, the broken hearts, and the sleepless nights, like the sun that is leaving me, descending with a pink intensity tonight. My heart sighs for the gargantuan losses. Some aches are never assuaged, never satisfied, never, never, never. … Sometimes when we lose someone, life is not and cannot ever be the same. It is because no one can take their place, fill their shoes, or make the world a better place as they did.
I find comfort in nature: “The shadows lengthen, proof of the earth’s rotation. The leaves on the oaks are lifting and swaying like whispers in force in a dream. It is cold, and I am wearing a jacket now. I see the Sutter Buttes mountain range in vivid blue outline. There are scattered lacy white clouds in contrast to the blue sky. The sun is getting ready to retreat behind clouds and western (coastal) mountain range. Amazing.”
I talk with God to seek His comfort:
“I am here, dear God, to seek you, to listen. I love you–I love what I see. What do you have for me today?
Below there is a Y in the road. It is your life. Over and over again, there are hard choices, times of trouble, times of wondering, times of waiting, but they all lead somewhere. It is your business to rely on me, to grasp my intentions.
I did not think that was possible.
It is, most assuredly is. I lead slowly and act on faith and prayers, the prayers of the faithful, your prayers, my beloveds’ prayer, prayers of the humble, the righteous, the unsure, the weak, the afraid, the believing…”
Things of nature bring rich contemplations:
“I drove past a field of mustard out in yellow bloom. I thought of the biblical saying, ‘The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains.’ I have always thought about that as the ultimate in faith–and that we don’t have adequate or strong faith. This time I thought a new thought. What in a mustard seed has or shows faith? What is in the mustard seed’s life, in its cycle, that should grab our attention?…The seed is dead, but there is life in the seed.”
Life comes in as I reflect on reality:
“Sometimes I feel weak, I feel damaged by life….But it need not defeat us. More and more I am becoming convinced that God wants me, wants us, to live in ‘love’ in every situation. Loving those who have hurt us is especially difficult. It is unnatural, but then again, maybe it is love that is natural, and we’ve learned to be unloving, selfish, and independent. I believe that with God when we love others we essentially are demonstrating to the world that we love Him. In this we find an amazing concept, the more we love God the more we will have capacity to love others.
The reflections continue:
“I saw the new year in as always, two candles were lit on the table and three on the piano top. Their scent filled the living room and blended softly with the comforting wood stove heat.
What will the New Year bring?
More joy, more peace, More hope, more forgiveness
More love, more healing, More freedom, less anger
More promise, less suffering. Less hunger, less sadness
What will the New Year bring? It is mine, it is yours to decide.”
God has been good to me, meeting me with His whispers of love at my Meeting Place, Lookout Point:
“You are my audience of One. Make the servant into the one who serves. Make a miracle of Your grade out of my life and the lives of others. It is up to You—only You. Solitude, times with You, dear God, are precious, dear, of great value.” Amen