Wishing for the Sanctuary
The last book in my little project pile is Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer.
I opened the book a bit hopefully. Such a beautiful cover, and I love the title. But I find myself feeling the opposite of when I started Ravished by Beauty.
After reading just the prologue of Ravished by Beauty I held my breath, hoping the book would continue in the promise it began: to be fresh, informative, lyrical, provoking. (It kept its promise.)
But on this quiet, foggy, silent morning—reading the introduction and the first chapter of Sanctuary—I am somehow feeling like I've gone to hear a church sermon, one that is tired and strung together by bible stories that should be powerful but somehow don't feel powerful at all.
Of course I am partial to Foster's observation that biblical meditation often included "silent reflection upon God's works in nature." And my favorite part of the chapter was a snippet that explains two Hebrew words: haga and stach. Our bibles, he notes, often translate these words as "meditate," but they are more nuanced than that, suggesting...
to mutter, to moan, to whisper, to reflect, to rehearse, to muse and even to coo like a dove. (Is. 59:11)
If the book delves more deeply into nuances like these as it goes along, I will perhaps, after all, find sanctuary in its words.