Augustine confessed, “the house of my soul is too narrow for thee to come in to me; let it be enlarged by thee. It is in ruins; do thou restore it” (Chapter V:6). Augustine intimates that it is not merely a slim doorway, but a narrow space in which to live. It is the experience of spiritual awaking to find as Jesus said, that He is the gate through whom we enter; we come in and go out, and find open expanse.
In paradox, we also find that the reverse is true in some mystical way. Despite the disintegrated state of our lives, the Psalmist implores God:
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.
It is Jesus who steps toward us in order to integrate our lives into Him. An integrated following comes from loving Him, not from duty. To those who respond, Jesus says, “My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
Today’s prayer comes from contemplating this, and a dream I had in conversation with God: I saw an underground cavern through which an subterranean river flowed. I complained, “but God, the water is eating away at the walls of the cavern. Eventually it will all cave in, and there’ll be nothing left of me!”
The odd thing about a dream like this is how a thousand things are said but not spoken. The Lord said, “that’s right; it will all cave in, and you will be the river, but you will not be forgotten. I am not erasing you, I am making you one with my Son. And you will be joy.”
If you are aware of your ruinous cavern and narrowness of soul, and if you are ready to be enlarged by His presence, and integrated into His river of life, then joyfully enter into this prayer:
Enlarge the Cavern
Enlarge the cavern of my heart
Into which You desire to pour Yourself.
No Lord! I protest,
I’m afraid the chamber will cave in!
And perhaps this is Your very desire:
To erode the vault encasing who I am –
the shell I’ve used to define me.
Your Spirit like flowing water wears that lifeless rock away
To enlarge the void into which You spill Yourself,
And erode something un-definable about me.
So, expand the hollow and increase Your expanse!
Impoverish me of my threadbare fabric –
Exchange it for a wider wonder world
And pour more of Yourself in me.