Loving Presence Meditation

This morning while I meditated, I begged God to be present in my life. It has been a frequent prayer for me over the years but mostly leaves me feeling empty and alone, even abandoned.

In the spring of 1981, I had a profound experience of God’s presence. I was in Bangkok, taking a bus to visit a friend. It was monsoon season and the sun was shining between rains. The bus was full and the heat was sweltering. Feeling the rising anxiety of claustrophobia, I visualized each person I could see as the embodiment of God’s love. As we traveled further and further from the city center, the love became palpable. A smile rose to my eyes and beams of sunlight seemed to emanate from the faces of every person on the bus. And I felt God’s loving presence. It was a capital “G” God experience.

Since that time — more than three decades — I have hoped (and prayed) to have that kind of God experience again — until today. Intellectually, I knew I was craving another God experience like the one I had in Bangkok. Intellectually, I knew I was measuring every other experience against that one and all fell short. Intellectually, I have known for decades that it is my craving of a capital “G” God experience that has separated me from God’s loving presence. But I felt powerless to do anything differently.

Today, a new prayer came to my lips during meditation. I felt God’s presence, not like in Bangkok, but a warm quiet experience of pervasive love. Here are the words that came to me.

In my body, I feel your loving presence
In my body, I breathe your loving presence
In my body, I experience your loving presence
Dear God, my rock and my peace.

In my heart, I feel your loving presence
In my heart, I breathe your loving presence
In my heart, I experience your loving presence
My God, my rock and my peace.

In my mind, I feel your loving presence
In my mind, I breathe your loving presence
In my mind, I experience your loving presence
My God, my rock and my peace.

In my soul, I feel your loving presence
In my soul, I breathe your loving presence
In my soul, I experience your loving presence,
My God, my rock and my peace.

I realized this morning there is a big difference between praying for God to reveal herself to me versus feeling, breathing and experiencing God’s presence in the here and now. God is always present. All these years, I haven’t been showing up. I was waiting for God to show up in a burning bush, a lightening bolt or in beams of sunlight emanating from the faces of people around me. But that’s not the way God works. God speaks in a still small voice. All I have to do is show up.

This morning I didn’t beg God to reveal herself. I felt her, I breathed her and I experienced her with my whole being. And lo and behold, she had been there the whole time. I felt her love. I felt her presence. Thanks be to God.

Categories acceptance, meditation transcript, mindfulness

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