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InWisdomsPathjanl.richardsonDiscoveringtheSacredinEverySeason janl.richardsonDiscoveringtheSacredinEverySeasonInWisdomsPathWantonGospellerPressOrlandoFlorida WantonGospellerPressOrlandoFloridaTextandillustrations2000byJanL.RichardsonBiblicalquotationsexceptasotherwisenotedarefromtheNewRevisedStandardVersionBible1989bytheDivisionofChristianEducationoftheNationalCounciloftheChurchesofChristintheUnitedStatesofAmerica.Usedbypermission.Allrightsreserved.Adaptationshavebeenmadeforinclusivity.Firstpublished2000byThePilgrimPress.Thiseditionpublished2012.Allrightsreserved.Howeverpermissionisherebygrantedforone-timereproductionofindividualreflectionspoemsorprayersforworshipandeducationalpurposesprovidedthatthefollowingcreditlineisincludedFromInWisdomsPathDiscoveringtheSacredinEverySeason.JanL.Richardson.Artworkmaynotbereproducedwithoutpermission.PrintedintheUnitedStates.10987654321LibraryofCongressCataloging-in-PublicationDatafortheoriginaleditionRichardsonJanL.InwisdomspathJanL.Richardson.p.cm.Includesbibliographicalreferences.ISBN0-8298-11324-1pbk.alk.paper1.ChristianwomenPrayer-booksanddevotionsEnglish.2.Devotionalcalendars.I.Title.BV4844.R552000242.3dc2100-029836ISBNforthisWantonGospellerPressedition978-0-9778162-6-2wantongospeller.comjanrichardson.com iiiListofIllustrationsiiiPrologueWisdominExileviiAbouttheArtworkviiiAcknowledgmentsixIntroductionxAdvent1Epiphany25Lent51Easter79OrdinaryTime105AbouttheAuthor130IllustrationsWisdomsPathivWisdominExileviTheCaveoftheHeart2Redemption8ClothedwiththeSun12MotherRoot17TheWiseOnes26RespiteintheLandofRed32Masks39SeeinginShadows42SaintBrigid47LaLuna52IntheWildernessWings55NightintoDayintoNight59OntheWater66Palms71TheyAlsoFeasted72TheDaughtersofJerusalem75FridayfromNoontillThree77WalkingOutoftheWound80TheStoryteller84TheLanguageoftheHeart88HavingTakentheFruit93WisdomsGate106ChangingWoman111TheWater-Bearer114TheBlessingCup121TheBestSupper128Contents CometoWisdomwithallyoursoulandkeepherwayswithallyourmight.Searchoutandseekandshewillbecomeknowntoyouandwhenyougetholdofherdonotlethergo.Foratlastyouwillfindtherestshegivesandshewillbechangedintojoyforyou.Sirach62628NolanguageaboutGodwilleverbefullyadequatetotheburningmysterywhichitsignifies.Butamoreinclusivewayofspeakingcancomeaboutthatbearstheancientwisdomwithanewjustice.ElizabethA.JohnsonSheWhoISThereisapearlineveryseason.Findit.Thengiveallyouhavetoclaimit.JoanSauroC.S.J.WholeearthMedItatIon Theimageontheslidescreenwascavernousandbeck-oning.AsthegatheringintheSanPedrochapeltookinthetranslucentgreensandbluesofthewatercolorwehearditsartistSisterDorisKleinC.S.A.offerthesewordsInthecaveofourhearts...inthefabricofourlives...inthesoulofourearth....youcontinueOGodtobebornSheheldtheopinionshesaidthatChristwasborninacave.WeallcarryacaveSisterDorisreflectedahiddenplacewithinusintowhichGodlongstobeborn.ShetoldusthatAdventisaseasontoenterthatplacetoturninwardandencountertheGodwhoseekstoemergethroughus.DuringthefouryearsthatIservedasachurchpastorAdventwasmybusiestseason.ThispastAdventmyfirstsincemovingfromSt.Lukeswasradicallydifferent.AfterafullautumnmyscheduleactuallysloweddownwiththeonsetofAdvent.Ibegantosavorthequietnessandslownessofthedaystakingwalksreadingmakingnotesforanewbookworkingatmydraftingtable.YetIfoundmyselfnotfeelingterriblyAdventish.IntothemidstofthiscameSisterDoris.AsIponderedtheimageandlistenedtoherwordsIrealizedthatintheslownessofthedaysandthequietoftheseasonAdventhadbeenunfoldingformeafterall.ShortlyafterthisIbegantorereadMeinradCraigheadsbookTheLitanyoftheGreatRiver.IfoundmyselfstartledasIcameuponasectioninwhichshewritesaboutthecaveoftheheart.BuildingherartstudiointheRioGrandeValleywithafriendonewinterCraigheadthoughtofthebearsthatatthesametimeweregestatingtheircubsintheirmountaincavesduringthedarkseasonofhibernation.Godliesinthedetailsshewouldrepeattoherselfinherownseasonofcreating.Godliesinthedetailsofallgrowthandmaking.IwasbuildingmycavemyplacetowithdrawandhidethesanctuarywhereIwouldbirthmyimagesandfindGodlyinginthedetails.TheancientwritersspokeofWisdomasaninitiateinthemysteriesofGodsknowledge.Thisisthesortofwisdomwemayfindinthecaveoftheheart.WhenweturninwardwhenwegiveourselvestotheshadowsofunknowingwhenweopenourselvestoGodwearemetbyOnewhowillbeacompanioninthemysteryandthedarkness.ThisOnewillalsohelpusknowwhatliesforusbeyondthecave.Thatistheotherpieceofitthecaveoftheheartisnotapermanentdwellingbutanecessaryshelteralongtheway.AsaninitiateinGodsmyster-iesWisdomparticipatesinGodswork.WetooarecalledtoenterthecaveofthehearttotracetheimagesdrawnonitswallstofindGodlyinginthedetailsofourlivesandthentoemergewithnewfoundwisdomtoengageinGodswork.3InWisdomsPathAdvent RahabTamarRuthBathshebaandMaryomefamiliesrememberthestoriesofAdventthroughkeepingthetraditionoftheJessetreeasmalltreedecoratedwithornamentsthatsymbolizetheancestorsofChrist.AlthoughthiswasnotpartofmytraditionsomewherealongthewayIbecameawareofthepractice.IalsolearnedthatthesymbolsadorningthebranchesoftheJessetreeusuallyrepresentthemaleancestorsofChristmorethanhisfemaleancestorspresumablybecausethestoriesandthelistsofbegatsintheScripturestellusmuchmoreaboutthementhanthewomen.Thewomenweretherehoweverasignificantbutoftenhiddenstreamsurfacingoccasion-allyinstoriesandinplacessuchasthegenealogythatopensMatthewsGospel.RahabTamarRuthBathshebaandMarythewriterremindsustheirstoriestooraninJesusveins.ThinkingofthemIbegantoimagineanothertreeonethatgrowsinahid-dengrovetendedbythosewhoknowtheplace.Thetreehasbeennourishedbythebloodofbirthingandbythetearsofwomenwhostruggledforlife.ThefiresmeanttodestroyithavethickeneditstrunkandopeneditsseedswhichtheSpirithasspreadtothefourcornersoftheearth.Holdingthemooninitsarmsandthesuninitsbranchesthetreeiswitnesstothecyclesofseasonsandtheturningofyears.Iamrootedheredrawingonthestrengthofgenerationslisten-ingtothewhisperedstoriesintherustlingofleaves.Herealltheunrememberedunrecordednameshavebeentracedintothebark.Herethetreegrowsstrongnourishedatthemotherroot.Spiritofearthtakerootinmestrengthoffireenlivenmepowerofwindblowthroughmeblessingofrainfallonme.Wisdomofbloodflowthroughmepromiseofseedunfoldinmeenduranceofstoryspeakthroughmespiraloftimerememberme.InWisdomsPathAdvent16s 43InWisdomsPathEpiphanyhenIfirstsawthisfigureitsarmsoutstretchedIthoughtofresurrectionofChristemergingfromthetomb.AsIworkedwithittheawarenessbegantosettleinthattheshapeisnotasilhouettebutashadow.Irememberedlearningasachildhowsometimeswecanseethingsmoreclearlywithourperipheralvisionthanbylookingstraightonhowstarsforinstancemayrevealthemselvestothecornerofoneseyemoreeasilythantothecenter.Sometimeswecancometoknowathingonlybyavertingourgazebynotshockingitwiththefullforceofourlooking.Somethingstoolongtobeknownfirstinshadow.IthinkthatGodissometimeslikethisteasingdancingontheedgesofourawareness.IthinkGoddoesthisnotbecauseGodismeanorcoybutbecauseGodlongstobecourtedtodwellinamysterythatkeepsusachingtotouchtheskinbeneaththeshadow.Ihavesoughtyouindaylightasifthediscoveryofyouwouldnotscorchmyeyessingetheirlashesseartheirbrowsasifyourgazewouldnotunfacemelaybareeverylongingdevastateallmyknowing.Andhereyouareteasingthecornerofmyeyeofferingperipheralvisionsknowingthatwhatcantbeborneinsunlightmaystillbeknowninshadow. lightforrevelationortydaysafterJesusbirthMaryandJosephwenttotheTempleforthepresentationofJesusandthepurificationofMaryaswastheJewishcustomfollowingabirth.LukesGospeltellsoftheirwelcomebytheprophetAnnaandbySimeonbothofwhomhadlongawaitedthischild.UponseeingJesusSimeontakeshimintohisarmsandspeaksofhimasalightforrevelationtotheGentiles.BecauseofSimeonswordsaboutlightthisdaycalledtheFeastofthePresentationortheFeastofthePurificationofMarybecameinmanyplacesadaytoblessthecandlesthatwouldbeusedinthecomingyear.InEnglandthiscandlelightservicebecameknownastheCandleMassgivingrisetothenameCandlemas.InAlexanderCarmichaelsnotestotheCarminaGadelicaaremarkablecol-lectionofblessingsprayershymnsandincantationsthatCarmichaelgatheredintheHighlandsandIslandsofScotlandinthenineteenthcenturyhewritesItissaidinIrelandthatBrideSt.BrigidwalkedbeforeMarywithalightedcandleineachhandwhenshewentuptotheTempleforpurification.ThewindswerestrongontheTempleheightsandthetaperswereunprotectedyettheydidnotflickernorfail.CarmichaelobservesthatbecauseofthisBrigidiscalledBrideboillsgeBrigidofbrightnessandthatsomecallthisdayLaFheillBridenanCoinnletheFeastDayofBrigidoftheCandlesormorecommonlyLaFheillMoirenanCoinnletheFeastDayofMaryoftheCandles.Blessthosewhoknowthedarknessanddonotfearitwhocarrythelightandarenotconsumedwhopreparethewayandwillnotabandonitwhoblesswithgracethatdoesnotleaveus.InWisdomsPathEpiphany48canDlemaSFebruary2f 49InWisdomsPathEpiphanyrecurringdreambegantovisitmeacoupleofyearsago.SomeofthedetailschangebuttheessenceremainsthesameIamwander-ingthroughshopsnotamallbutaseriesofconnectedstores.TheyarestoresofthesortIlovetobrowsethroughthekindIfindincommunitiesthatvalueart-istry.IsavorwhatIseeasIwanderthroughthestoresrichlyhuedartworkfinelycraftedjewelrybeautifulpotterythatcallsoutformetotouchandholdit.Ialwaysfindabookstoreinthedream.Onetimeitwasausedbookstorecrammedwithvolumesandwithmoreshelvesaroundeveryturn.Anothertimeitcontainedacaseofgorgeoushand-boundbooksdisplayedlikeartwork.Imarveledatthecolorstexturesanddesignsknow-ingasItouchedthebooksIwanttodothistocreatevolumeslikethese.Oneofthethingsthatintriguesmeabouttherecurringdreamisthatitalmostalwaysbeginswithmywalkingdownafamiliarstreet.Iturnacornerandsud-denlyfindmyselfattheshopsthinkingtomyselfOfcoursethatswheretheywereTheylayinmyneighborhoodthewholetimewaitingtobefound.GiverofthedreamthisIaskforcouragetotakethepathsthefeetofmysoulhavealwaysknownforvisiontoseethewonderstheeyesofmylongingwouldneverforgetforstillnesstohearthesongtheearofmyspiritwilleverrememberfordaringtotastethedelightsthetongueofmyheartforeverrecallsforwisdomtotouchthedepthsthehandsofmydesirecouldnevererase.Adreamwaitingtobefound.touchthedepths hadintendedforthespaceinthecenterofthispiecetobesolidblackbuttherewasgritintheink.WhenIpulledtheprintfromtheinkedglassstarsemerged.IthoughtofJesusinthewildernessforfortydaysandnightscomingfacetofacewiththeessenceofwhohewas.InothergospelaccountsofthisstorythewritersincludethequestionsthatSatanposestoJesus.DesignedtoenticeanddistracthimthequestionshavetheconverseeffectofhelpingtoclarifywhatliesatJesuscore.HumansdonotlivebybreadaloneJesussaidinthatwilderness.ButIimagineangel-bornebreadattheendofthosefortydayscomingtoeasehishungertosustainhimforthepathahead.IamnotaskingyoutotakethiswildernessfrommetoremovethisplaceofstarknesswhereIcometoknowthewildnesswithinmewhereIlearntocallthenamesoftheravenousbeaststhatpaceinsidemetofingerthebramblesthatsnakethroughmyveinstotastethethirstthattugsatmytongue.Butsendmetoughangelssweetwinestrongbreadjustenough.InWisdomsPathLent54IAndtheSpiritimmediatelydroveJesusoutintothewilderness.HewasinthewildernessfortydaystemptedbySatanandhewaswiththewildbeastsandtheangelswaitedonhim.Mark11213 Whenitwasnoondarknesscameoverthewholelanduntilthreeintheafternoon.AtthreeoclockJesuscriedoutwithaloudvoiceEloiEloilemasabachthaniwhichmeansMyGodmyGodwhyhaveyouforsakenmeWhensomeofthebystandersheardittheysaidListenheiscallingforElijah.AndsomeoneranfilledaspongewithsourwineputitonastickandgaveittohimtodrinksayingWaitletusseewhetherElijahwillcometotakehimdown.ThenJesusgavealoudcryandbreathedhislast.Andthecurtainofthetemplewastornintwofromtoptobottom.NowwhenthecenturionwhostoodfacinghimsawthatinthiswayhebreathedhislasthesaidTrulythismanwasGodsSonTherewerealsowomenlookingonfromadistanceamongthemwereMaryMagdaleneandMarythemotherofJamestheyoungerandofJosesandSalome.TheseusedtofollowhimandprovidedforhimwhenhewasinGalileeandthereweremanyotherwomenwhohadcomeupwithhimtoJerusalem.Mark153341InWisdomsPathLent76HolyWeekGoodFridayAttheCross FridayfromNoontillThreeTheMagdalenesLamentPerhapstheywonderedwhyIwasnotsurprisedwhentheytoldofhowthecurtainhadbeentorn.ButIhadknowntheexactmomentoftherending.Itstartedatmyheartanddidnotstopuntilithadreachedmywombandtheholyofholieslaybareandbleedingwithagashnooneelsecouldsee.77InWisdomsPathLentnooneelsecouldsee. Wisdomhasbuiltherhouseshehashewnhersevenpillars.Shehasslaughteredheranimalsshehasmixedherwineshehasalsosethertable.ShehassentoutherservantgirlsshecallsfromthehighestplacesintownYouthataresimpleturninhereTothosewithoutsenseshesaysComeeatofmybreadanddrinkofthewineIhavemixed.Layasideimmaturityandliveandwalkinthewayofinsight.Proverbs916InWisdomsPathOrdinaryTime128 OGodofWisdomwecomerethesepeopleyouknowafriendaskedwhenshesawthiscollage.Yesandno.WhenIfirstbeganworkingonthisimageIwantedtosetthetablewithfamiliarfaces.ButwithonlythirteenplaceshowcouldIchooseTheguestlistformydreamfeastwouldbeenormouslylongmorethanonetablecouldhold.Ididntwanttoleaveanyoneout.YetthesefolksWisdomsdinnerguestsarefamiliartome.Thespiritsandsomeofthephysicalfeaturesofpeoplewhohavesharedmyjourneyfoundtheirwayintothispiece.ThefiguresevokevariousfamilymembersfriendsandcompanionsthoseknowntomeaswellasthoseIhopetocrosspathswithoneday.AsIworkedonthiscollageIwasvisitedbymemoriesofwisecompanionsandoftableswehaveshared.Inthisspiralingjourneyoneofthegiftsthathassustainedmemosthasbeenthebreakingofbreadtheopportunitytolingeratthetablewithfolkswhohaveaccompaniedmealongtheway.Imadethisfortwofriendsinparticularwhohavetaughtmeagreatdealaboutfeasting.Theyhaveshownmeagainandagainthatwherethereisbreadandwineandfriendshipthereisholyground.Toyourtableyoubiduscome.Youhavesettheplacesyouhavepouredthewineandthereisalwaysroomyousayforonemore.Andsowecome.Fromthestreetsandfromthealleyswecome.Fromthedesertsandfromthehillswecome.Fromtheravagesofpovertyandfromthepalacesofprivilegewecome.Runninglimpingcarriedwecome.Wearebloodiedwithourwarsweareweariedwithourwoundswecarryourdeadwithinusandwereckonwiththeirghosts.Weholdtheseedsofhealingwedreamofanewcreationweknowthethingsthatmakeforpeaceandwestruggletogivethemwings.Andyettoyourtablewecome.HungeringforyourbreadwecomethirstingforyourwinewecomesingingyoursongineverylanguagespeakingyournameineverytongueinconflictandincommunionindiscordandindesirewecomeOGodofWisdomwecome.129InWisdomsPathOrdinaryTimea InWisdomsPathAuthor130JanL.RichardsonisanartistwriterandordainedministerintheUnitedMethodistChurch.SheservesasdirectorofTheWellspringStudioLLCandtravelsasaretreatleaderandconferencespeaker.WidelyknownforsuchbooksasNightVisionsandIntheSanctuaryofWomenRichardsonlivesinFloridawithherhusbandthesingersongwriterGarrisonDoles.YoucanfindRichardsonsdistinctiveartworkwritingandmoreatherblogsandwebsitesThePaintedPrayerbookpaintedprayerbook.comTheAdventDooradventdoor.comJanRichardsonImagesjanrichardsonimages.comandhermainwebsitejanrichardson.com