I am a Little World
by Martin L. Smith
THE MONKS AND NUNS who went into the desert where the Spirit had driven Jesus stayed there to learn that they were united to all the world, because all that is in the world was within each one. They stayed there to experience the absolute and undivided love of God embracing them, to experience in their own selves the full force of God's redemptive presence and activity.
You are not in the desert -- you are going about your normal life. But Christ has asked you to be solitary for your prayer. "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret." Worship together is important, praying while we move about during the day is important, but there is something essential in finding ourselves alone.
Alone, behind closed doors, we face a moment of truth. There is an unspoken question in the air. Is God there for me? Is God's attention absorbed by the vast world, the need of the billions of God's other children? Faith falters and we scarcely dare "bother God" with our little needs. Only by persevering with this appearing before God alone can we come to know that the Father who sees in secret, secretly sees the whole world in each one of us and loves it and cares for everything about us and in us.
Taken from A Season for the Spirit: Readings for the Days of Lent by Martin L. Smith (Cambridge, MA: Cowley, 1991).