The water seeps through the rock, coming from within, or so it seems. The day is dry, cool, crisp. Yet the rock of the chasm is moist with precious water dripping, nourishing the tender shoots that cling tenaciously, suckling all that is offered. The chasm rock is shaped with each seeping drop. The changes are invisible – miniscule – unnoticeable. Most of the time. Until over time, the rock is a new shape, but who knows when and how this happened?
This is our life with God, life with the Living Water – seeping into and through the rock, shaping it, nurturing tender, tentative, tenacious life with its persistent, effervescent presence. Sometimes, the slow, seeping water creates a dramatic, instant change; a crash, a collapse, a loss, a gain akin to Paul’s experience en route to Damascus. Most times, God’s work in us is a quiet, unseen, and often, largely unfelt, ferment infusing, drop by precious drop, new life into our hearts of stone.
(The photo is from Ausable Chasm, in Keeseville, NY, in the Adirondack Park.)
Above All, Trust in the Slow Work of God
By Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way
to something unknown,
Yet it is the law of all progress that is made
by passing through some stages of instability
and that may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually. Let them grow.
Let them shape themselves without undue haste.
Do not try to force them on
as though you could be today what time
— that is to say, grace —
acting on your own good will
will make you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new Spirit
gradually forming in you will be.
Give our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God,
our loving vine-dresser.