Reading through some notes from what I think was a Franciscan retreat many years ago I came across this. Enjoy!
One retreat handout was entitled God – With – Us Paraphrase by Leslie F. Brandt Psalm 139
O God, You know me inside and out, through and through. Everything I do. every thought that flits through my mind, every step I take every plan I make, every word I speak, You know, even before these things happen. You know my past: You know my future. Your circumventing presence covers my every move. Your knowledge of me sometimes comforts me, sometimes frightens me; but always it is far beyond my comprehension. There is no way to escape you, no place to hide. If I ascend to the heights of joy, You are there before me. If I plunge into the depths of despair, You are there to meet me. I could fly to the other side of the world and find You there to lead there to lead the way. I could walk into the darkest of nights, only to find You there to lighten its dismal hours. You were present at my very conception. You guided the molding of my unformed members within the body of my mother. Nothing about me, from beginning to end, was hid from Your eyes. How frightfully, fantastically wonderful it all is! May Your all-knowing, everywhere-present Spirit continue to search out my feelings and thoughts. Deliver me from that which may hurt or destroy me, and guide me along the paths of love and truth.
Looking up Leslie F. Brandt online just now, this was likely taken from a book called Psalms Now.
On the back of my paper I wrote “Grow accustomed to encountering the hidden Christ …” and then:
“I am a holy God and Lord of the Broken Things. My greatest victory was through My broken body and spent life. I use imperfect beings perfectly. My love covers, cleanses, fills, renews.” Have no idea if someone spoke this at the retreat or I heard it in my spirit.
“I too shed tears. My tears were not some painless spiritual symbol, but pain-filled, aware feeling tears. And they were born out of my hurt and disappointment, anguish and anger at how things COULD have been. I know tears. And I feel and am aware of yours.” Again, I have no idea if someone spoke this at the retreat or I heard it in my spirit.
“This mornings flood has left fresh ponds where dust was before. On contemplation this puddle is teeming with life. Worms with feathered heads writhe out a dance of life. Bugs I always associated with DIRT scurry along unhindered underwater. Oh voice of many waters, make me this adaptable and joyous I pray.” Fairly certain I wrote this one!
Reading and typing these things out makes me aware how I SO need a spiritual retreat! When I go on retreat I make an effort to still the chatter in my soul, listen for His still small voice, wait for the King of Glory. If nothing else, I am refreshed from stilling that chatter. Usually I am refreshed by the Presence of the Lord in ways I could not create on my own.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”ISA 46:10
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the LordActs 3:19
Then the Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.1 Kings 19:11-12