experience of absence

The hope of communion

The experience of absence is not the absence of experience. I have heard this many times.

"If you asked a man who is poor in spirit to describe his prayer life, he might well answer, 'Most of the time my prayer consists in experiencing the absence of God in the hope of communion.'" - Brennan Manning

Brennan adds another dimension to our desired connection with God through successful prayer: the hope of communion.  The man who is truly poor in spirit is there because he continues searching after and coming before God regardless of whether he experiences or FEELS connection with God each time.  He keeps coming back because he has HOPE.  He has a hope for communion.  We cannot allow ourselves to be thwarted by the experience of absence when we approach God.  I believe it will happen more often than not.  On the other hand, as one who truly longs for God through it all, I have to continually go back to God with the HOPE of communion, and I must maintain that hope every time I approach the throne and lap of God the Abba.

Psalm 27:4 says,

"One thing I ask of the Lord this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple."

Matthew 5:3 says,

"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."