Thursday, September 3, 2009

How to Start the Last Day of a Silent Retreat

You wake up before the sun, grab your IPOD and it tells you it is 5:00 a.m. Weigh options. Sleep late and scramble or B) greet the day.

Make some tea. Consider packing. Grab the much much used drawing table, your dirty clothes and your slightly used bottle of porto and head west to the car. Enjoy the chill. Be aware, the sun is rising as you walk back the the retreat center.

Consider your options. Pack or what you will choose to do... Take your tea and head to the third floor, walk east and be amazed by the view. By God. By Yourself. By the music you chosen to listen to, Maria Schneider's Jazz Orchestra.

Pull a slip of paper out of your pocket. You have looked at this paper several times since it was handed to you 20 hours ago. It was given to you by a woman who has been your companion for seven days. Think this: "but not an 8th day, it is nearly time to leave."

Be aware and you will see your mistake.

You see your name written on the top left corner. As you read it again, her voice reads it to you.


Watch the sunrise. Be amazed. Don't stop being amazed.

Pull the slip out again. You never know what will happen. and something does.

Now for the first time, it is your voice you hear and you are calling out to your friends. You desire for them to feel what you are feeling.

So go home. And when the doubts arise that what you experienced was not revelation, fight them off and start sharing what you experienced.

Find that piece of paper. Think of your companions and feel free to let your heart be amazed...

"When I think of the wisdom and scope of his plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God--- some of them already in Heaven and some down here on Earth--- that out of his glorious unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. And so at last you will be filled up with God himself." Ephesians 3:14-21



  1. Thank you for leaving my soul filled with God.

  2. Beautiful photos and awesome passage from Ephesians. I'm going to reflect on those words for a while too.

  3. Michelle, I told the whole story to my director of how you, Robin, and Kathryn entered my life through blogging, then thought, "I wonder if she knows Michelle." She does.

    Kathryn--- the passage is a blessing, I am glad I had means to share. I hope to post several photos as I blog about the experience. Thanks.

  4. Beautiful ending to a beautiful post, Wayne. This sounds like a retreat I could enjoy. My old church has a men's "retreat" every year, but it is more like retreating from their families than from their life into God. Boating, fishing, water-skiing, etc, and a church service at night. I gave them up after the first one, finding better opportunity for what I needed on an evening walk in my back yard....

  5. What a gorgeous quote, Wayne. Thank you for that. Beautiful photos and so are the images that you've painted with your words.


  6. I haven't been out there since July - and I miss place and people!!

    But this post and the next are the next best thing to being there, photos and reflections both.

  7. Jim---- maybe you have a bit of the Jesuits in you too. It seems to be common here at Stratoz. Back yards are good!

    Daisy--- no credit here, it was God moving through my director, then stumbling through me that led the passage to you.

    Michelle--- more to come, I think.

    Giggles--- thanks.

  8. I am sitting here, having read this beautiful post several times over the past couple of days, and feeling so grateful for your retreat and fairly miserable about my own. I suppose there are times when God's grace simply floods into an open heart, and other times when all God can do is surround a broken one and wait.

  9. Gannet Girl--- yes, my heart was open and my imagination set it free. please be gentle with yourself.


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