Making Space

I am at Christ the King Retreat House in Buffalo, MN, where I am giving a weekend women’s Ignatian retreat that began last night.

The women who are journeying with me this weekend understand something that Judy Brown expresses so well in her poem Fire: that we need to make space for God. Brown writes:

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
require attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

I recognize that not everyone can get away for a retreat that runs from Thursday evening through Sunday early afternoon. But we can all take some time – we can all make some space – so that we can hear God speaking to us.

How will you do that today?