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so You search

Ignatian Meditation is a way of praying in which we invite the Holy Spirit to place us in the story of sacred scripture, and allow our senses and imagination to lead us into places we normally would not go. It is, in essence, meeting God personally through story. When reading the scriptures (or when having them read over us) these are a couple good questions to keep in mind: What is the setting (time of day, season, weather, purpose for being here, etc.)? Who is with me? Why are people here? What is the mood (somber, joyful, evangelical, wondrous, etc.)? When reading/listening, which character am I? Ya know...stuff like that. Allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest...


*This was originally meant to be read aloud to a bible study while they close their eyes; do with it what you will*


For your entire life, you've always been plagued by the question:


“Who am I?”


When looking around you see the ordinary everyday life of the world around you, and you ask yourself,


“What's my place in all of this?”

“Do I have a place?”

“Do I have a purpose?”

“Am I anything special?”


Something deep and real and profound screams at you “Yes you are! There is a purpose to all of this!” But still...you look around at the mundane, day-to-day and say “I don't have a place here.”


So you search.


That ‘one time’ with that ‘one person’, you search,


“Who am I?”


Those peers whose approval you were trying to win - to be good enough for -

you search,


“Who am I?”


The grades you couldn't make

The parents you couldn’t please

The work you couldn't perfect

The body you couldn't have

and the desire you couldn't control-


You search,


“Who am I?”


“God, who am I?”






So one day on your search, someone tells you about a man who might be able to get you some answers. Skeptical and jaded, you seek him...exhausted from no one else providing you with an answer; On a warm, sunny day, you journey to find him. Your senses - hyper aware of what you're looking for. You hear the skid of your sandals with every step you take across the dirt path. You feel the wind brushing your skin as your hair whispers across your face. Salty sweat, accumulated from a long journey of searching, hardens to your face, neck, arms. Every minute - scanning the horizon - every minute - another let down. Your eyes catch your blackened, dirty feet as your head drops in defeat, and you remind yourself that this is just what it's like for you. As you pivot to turn back - back to the way things have always been - back to the isolation - back to the mediocrity - back to the -being dead in a live body - you hear a faint voice yelling...


”The one who is coming is mightier than I!”


Immediately your stomach leaps. "Wait, what did he say?!" Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created. Suddenly unaware of the unkempt state in which you are, your pace quickens as you follow his voice. Almost as if he was never-not before you...there he is. Others are near him, sitting - listening - delighting and discoursing. On the edge of the river, they dwell, while the one whom you were told to find catches your eyes.


Waist deep in the water, he beckons you.


Before you know what is happening, you feel the cool water washing away the dirt from your sandals, then your ankles. The fluid line continues to rise as you push forward...to your calves - your thighs - your waist-


Until you meet him.


Here he is before you. You are close. Close enough to hear his breathing. Close enough to see the smile lines on his face - all the while, he has your eyes.


The question is throbbing in your mind, echoing in every chamber of your being-


“Who am I?”


Unaware of what’s to come, yet knowing this is exactly where you are supposed to be-


“Who am I?”


All at once, the man takes you in his arms, secure - the water forcing your clothes to cling to you. Without saying a word, he twists you and lowers you swiftly - the sky getting further and further away as your head is cradled back - the water rising to your neck, ears, face, nose, and then!















Nothing.

Silence.

















The dark pressure of water surrounds you everywhere, making the external reality just an abstract vagueness while your mind flashes to specific memories - memories grasping for...for what? They come quickly like a slideshow - too fast to dwell on, yet every one is as real and cutting as the one before it.


Every sin

Every fear

Every embarrassment

Every loneliness

Every failure

and everything that has ever kept you enslaved flashes in front of you like movie scenes.


Some, you haven’t allowed to cross your mind in years, for removing a limb is quicker than waiting for a wound to be healed; Others, you cannot avoid, for they are too fresh to stifle. The question rings louder than it ever has,


“WHO AM I?”


Suddenly, you are alerted by your inability to breathe - you can’t be here any longer - you cannot survive like this any longer - and in a quick upward motion, you face breaks the water tension and you are met with a fresh burst of air - warmth - sunlight - and the sound of life around you, as water drips from your every facet. Gasping, you take your first breath - new air fills your lungs. As your breathing settles, his eyes grab yours once more - a profound smile overtaking his lips - and a gentle voice resounds over your heart,


“You are my beloved child... believe it and be satisfied.”


Your heart stills, the pounding thoughts quiet, and an unavoidable smirk takes over your face as you voice to yourself the ancient truth now revealed,


“I am his. I have always been his."