Playdates: Nesting With the Shekhinah

A lot of water has passed under the bridge this week—big, crashing waves and silent deep all fold together and I am sinking. Busy always leaves me unsettled. I find it natural—easy even—to meet with God in the small moments. It is the way of seeing that slow fosters. I try to move slow through the days…notice.
When I make space to pause, the Shekhinah makes herself at home in my heart. Shekhinah— from the Hebrew verb שכן. It means literally to settle, inhabit, or dwell, and is used frequently in the Hebrew Bible—especially in reference to the Tabernacle and the Temple. In Hebrew the word is often used to refer to birds’ nesting and nests. And this is what she does when I slow—makes a nest inside of me. Her mother hands feed me and keep me warm, line my bed with feathers.
When I nest with the Shekhinah, I feel Her everywhere—like a mother robin She covers me and I wear Her like skin. She is with me in the small moments then–in the slow unfolding of a leaf, the poking through the earth of my carrot crop, the dog sticking his head out the window in a passing car. I close my eyes, inhale, and the lilac breathes Her name. She is the touch of his hand as we walk slow together, the cry of jubilation during a good badminton match (the net is up), even in the crisp fold of clean sheets…
But in the midst of busy I sometimes lose her scent. I fall from the nest and flap about, easy prey for whatever hungry mouth that passes by.
This week, with resurrection day behind me and ever before, I have sought to see the Shekhinah—the glory of God—in the moments that breeze by without pause…in the moments that sometimes leave me gasping for breath. I hunker down in the nest when the strong winds blow by, and I am amazed.
I am amazed at the gratitude that comes when a child breaks his arm—that gentle hands kept him from serious harm. I am amazed at the peace the nest brings to a troubled past, to grumpy days, to saying goodbye to a good friend, and sidetracking obligations. The way the nest gives and makes room for others when I invite them in opens up the world to me, and I scoot on over.
Busy is the way of the world. When I can, I slow. But when life piles up and the current threatens to carry me away…this is when I need the Shekhinah most. And I cling. And She never lets go.

How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

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Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also:

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And Jen today, and all the Soli Deo Gloria sisters:

Comments

  1. says

    This is so lovely, the Shekhinah nest inside, the peace, the place for gratitude, and the making of room… Once again so lovely! Thank you for these thoughts to carry with me, in the midst of spring bursting forth.

  2. says

    I love reading your words.

    In the church I attended as a young adult, I learned about the Shekhinah glory – the indwelling glory – of God. I love those words and the image they create in my heart. But all along, I thought of Shekhinah as “He” and here you are, shaking things up for me and I am loving how they land…

  3. says

    I like that nest image. Did you know that the image of the Holy Spirit in Genesis, hovering over the waters, is also a bird image?

    Cool, huh? 🙂

    Love you.

  4. says

    I found the link – hooray. Now I won’t miss any of these glorious posts.

    Love these images today – so often the ‘glory’ part of that Hebrew words receives all the emphasis – loved that you connected back to the root before going there. That nest, and the so-perfect feminine pronouns – all lovely. Thank you.

    Diana at http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com

  5. says

    Such beautiful description. I prefer life with time to inhabit the moments as well. It is helpful to imagine a nest inside. . .for so many moments flash faster than my preference.

  6. says

    Love the nest image. Lined with fur and feathers and soft grassy things. Did you ever feel how warm those nests are when the birds are inside? It seems so cozy.

    I’m with Darlene. Scootch over, and make room for some friends!

  7. says

    It’s hard to say this is the most gorgeous post of yours I have read, but you know it is right now to me–the most gorgeous. I love the image and it will stay with me. Tender and full and all about Presence…Shekhinah…I had heard it growing up, but never as intimately as you share–putting a name and weight of glory to other things that have been floating about this head, heart and soul. Thank you!

  8. says

    Beautiful!

    His indwelling glory…just that image in my heart, in my mind fills me completely!

    How do I live with His joy? I embrace it completely!

    Mrs. M.

  9. says

    “She” reminds me of the “She” in the book, The Shack. The Holy Spirit keeping me together, but making it safe to fall apart all the same.

  10. says

    Love the soft nest and the feeling of Shekhinah when you “breath in the scent of lilacs.” I can feel myself walking slowly, inhaling God’s creation and feeling the joy!

    Blessings,
    Janis

    Hope that tiara and train are adjusted 🙂 Mine get crooked often, too. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. says

    When you said “the lilac breathes her name” I had to gasp in awe and agreement. And again when you lost her scent. You so move this reader!
    TYTYTY
    May blessings like falling rose petals cover your crown. 😀

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