Garden of Solitude: Day 9
‘Our pastoral task is to help every needy one face his inner loneliness, and there begin to hear God and his own true self. Every one of us, not just the ones who are the most visibly wounded by the darkness in man and in the world, has to face the inner loneliness and separation from God and then begin the rigorous but magnificent work of converting the “desert of loneliness” within into the spaciously beautiful “garden of solitude” where the true self comes forward. This is the self capable of Christian friendship. Its identity is no longer in the creature.’ (The Broken Image, p.156)
Leanne Payne was essentially a prayer minister. She believed that the Triune God had power to invite each fractured soul into His three-fold Presence and heal its divides. Her main task was to teach us how to avail ourselves to Him.
She recognized loneliness. She had suffered a failed marriage and faced alone the challenge of single mothering. All the while she became supremely educated, an excellent writer, and a spiritual force to be reckoned with in Renewal circles throughout the world. Not easy for a woman to lead in this way--most do not or will not embrace the unique ways that women pioneer.
Leanne led like a lady. That’s why I loved her. She lived out her clear thinking as regards essential gender differences; she struggled with fears and insecurities and never tried to resolve them by acting like a man. She relied on the God-man as best she could; Jesus became the ground of her identity and the walls that protected her. She loved people but held them lightly. She accepted some loneliness as part of life this side of heaven. Immune to self-pity, she prayed. She exerted much to transform her desert into a garden. We partake of its fruit today. Thank you, Leanne.
‘Jesus, teach us to pray. Rather than flail about in what people give or fail to give us, help us to find our sustenance in You. Become the mirror of our true selves. Give us courage to transform our deserts into gardens.’
‘Jesus, please confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.’