Obstacles, God and Silence

I’m reading through Into the Silent Land : A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation by Martin Laird.  It’s a book I highly recommend for anyone getting started with Christian meditation/Centering Prayer or for anyone who realizes that we are all always beginners.  Below is a quote (both of these are from Chapter Six) I found meaningful today:

What we once saw as an obstacle or something that isolated us from God, ourselves, others, is now a place of communion. This subtle transformation is beautifully expressed by Simone Weil. “Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link.”


One of the great paradoxes of the spiritual life is that our struggles are not separate from the luminous vastness within each of us. We don’t get rid of struggle to discover this open space; nor does its discovery necessarily rid us of our struggles. The riddle of the obstacle is solved not by pushing it away or by holding on to it, but by meeting it with silence and by discovering in this meeting that sacred ground, which upholds both joy and sorrow, both struggle and freedom from struggle.

About John Henson

I am Pastor of Church for the Highlands in the Highland neighborhood of Shreveport, LA. I am also Chaplain of Volunteers of America of North Louisiana. I am husband to Jinny and father to a middle-schooler named Jack. Most of my time is taken up with starting a church, but I love running, a good cigar, and reading what mystics have lived and written. Member of Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
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