Saturday, June 25, 2011

There Is No Time Like The Presence

Paradise Lost (Book 1) by Milton

And chiefly you, O (Holy) Spirit,
who does prefer before all Temples,
the upright heart and pure,
you instruct me for you know everything.

You from the first (created) moments were present,
and with mighty wings outspread, dove-like,
sat brooding upon the vast Abyss (the firmament)
and made it pregnant.

Whatever in me is dark, illuminate.
Whatever is slight, raise and support;
that to the highest of this Great Argument (Life in God)
I may assert Eternal Providence,
and justify the ways of God to men.

I had a friend who was returning to school who was moving into a new area of life. She began a creative journey and almost felt like jumping ship and swimming to shore when she saw how far ahead of her others were. I asked God what would encourage her art, feed her on her way and He sent me to this passage in Milton.

Milton was blind but became famous for his vision. In this passage he "sees" the Holy Spirit as a dove brooding over her eggs, stretched out over the firmament in the first of Creation and calling forth life. Milton's "brooding" is actually a better translation from the original text where we commonly read, "And the Voice of the Lord 'moved upon' the face of the waters."

Transition times are hard times even when they are good. It is easy to become discouraged especially when we look around and compare ourselves to others whom we feel are more accomplished. We need to look up into the "Light Be!" face of Creation, feel His body hovering above us, His Will warm and strong, His soft feathers (Christ's intersession) protecting and encouraging. Raising and supporting whatever is slight.

Is there a work of God, a dream, a gift, new life quickening inside of you? If you desire it to live then know the Spirit's breath upon it. At this time in your life (early or late), He is brooding above your unformed parts, making you pregnant, calling forth gifts and talents, raising and illuminating, separating mist from land, earth from sky, light from dark.

What woman finding herself pregnant is ashamed that the seed is so small, that it is not already a full grown baby? Rather she is proud of the knowledge of conception and the moment she feels that first tiny flutter, a love shudder eclipses everything else in life. "Do not despise the day of small beginnings." Exalt the brooding. Be enraptured by it. Live it. You are in those first hours of Creation.

Take that class. Teach that class. Learn to dance. Learn to sing. Start that band. Study Latin. Visit France. Kiss the Western Wall. Run that race. Rescue that puppy. Save a child. Bake bread. Be Bread. Pick up a brush. Point a camera. Draw a circle. Write a line. Connect with the God of, "Hey, that's good!"

"And the Voice of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters," upon your face.

It's all in the we beginning?

There is no time like The Presence!


(Acknowledging Rebecca Jeter who reminds me what it takes to turn a loss into a gain and to nurse a dream to success. Be it done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Run on, Rebecca!)


  1. What wonderful encouraging words! I am so glad I came by to read your blog. There is something in my life that I feel God is breathing on and I have not yet figured out how to move in it. You have given me a shot in the arm at the time I needed it most.

  2. I have had an unrest of which I am unsure - how is He leading me or what is He breathing into me? I don't know? Am i ready? Am I His willing vessel?