Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Journaling Through My Latest Book...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A familiar story, that can be read....John 4:1-42

Reading this story with her "friend," Lectio Divina, Macrina has evidently journaled quite a bit on what she has heard. I am blessed to read several of those entries from her journal in her book, A Tree Full of Angels, p73-77. I am blessed because my heart has been opened to new insights that I have not thought of before, and I believe Macrina reached these insights because she does practice Lectio Divina.

For instance, John 4:28: The woman put down her water jar and hurried back to tell the people.

I I clutch my agenda
close to my heart?
Macrina journaled:
"She put down her water jar. This very well may be the heart of this beautiful story. Her water jar is her own agenda. It's the reason she came to the well. She came to draw water. She came for natural water. She left with eternal life. She walked away from that well with living water because she was able to let go of her own agenda. She was able to put down the water jar of her own agenda and go forth with God's agenda.She forgot the water jar. Her own need for her natural thirst to be quenched suddenly wasn't all that important, for she had come to experience the quenching of a much deeper thirst in her encounter with Jesus.She put down her water jar and she went out to tell the good news. She brought other people to the well, and so, to Jesus. She became a bucket, a means of bringing others to the living water.
"Jesus, give me the courage to put down my water jar. My agenda is getting heavy in my life. I want to go with your agenda for me. I want to be a well!" (Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, ps 76-77)
I read this and I think, Jesus! I want to be able to have these insights! I want to be able to hear you speak to me from the familiar stories of scripture! This entry alone is full of so much imagery! The woman becoming a bucket.  The bucket as her agenda. Lord, in all the times I have read this story, these thoughts never entered my heart. By your Spirit, help me to have the patience and the persistence to practice this spiritual discipline, Lectio Divina.  AMEN.

One thing I noticed in the video was the woman's face when she came to the well and how it transformed as she continued to speak with Jesus.  My sense is that Macrina thinking of Lectio Divina as her best is like she is the woman who comes to the well.  She meets her friend, Lectio Divina (aka Jesus), and they talk...just as Jesus spoke with the woman in the video.  She asked questions.  She probed.  She stepped back and chewed on the things he was telling her...and she was transformed.

Another entry in the book comes from John 4:42 (Notice these are single verses!): "We no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves, and we know that he really is the savior of the world."

Macrina writes in her journal that this is the place she longs to come in her own faith journey, that she knows Jesus is Lord from her own experiences. 
"The day will come when I must say to my grandparents, my parents, my teachers, 'No longer does my faith depend on your story. I have seen and heard for myself. Now I know. This is the savior of the world. I have experienced God. It is my own experience, not just something I have heard...No longer does my faith depend on your story. It's within. I've become a well!" (Ibid)
I am nodding in agreement.  Yes, Lord! This is what I want as well!  And I hear deep in my heart, "Then Sandi, bring your bucket to the well."

Tomorrow I am using Psalm 119:17-24 during worship, which is going to be a Message Through Hymns.The words that jumped out at me from this passage were "Open my eyes". This has been my prayer mantra for most of this week, and I have been amazed by what I have "accidently" seemed to notice. You know, those God Winks? One thought I had this week was, I know I might have missed this if my eyes and heart weren't opened....yet it seems to jump out at me! Cloud formations, the sun shining through the leaves, a smile from a stranger.... This morning I would say I have been drinking from the bucket of Living Water and that bucket has appeared in many ways.


Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"I'll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands for who you are no matter where I am, every tear I cry, you hold in your hand, You never left my side..." ~ Casting Crowns

Yesterday and all last night I was experiencing nerve ending pain that would not let up.  I was hurting so much I couldn't sit long enough to work on worship for this coming Sunday.  I put pain patches on, I took Aleve and I took Extra Strength Tylenol.  My head felt numb to most everything except the pain. I remembered Paul counting as "blessing" to experience pain, but at 3:00 this morning...I was finding it difficult to count it as blessing and I was finding it difficult to be grateful.

Still, Psalm 40:1-3 says:

 “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.”

This morning, I am not using Macrina's book, other than doing my best to practice what she has been teaching me on a passage of scripture "I" find (rather than writing on Macrina's thoughts).  Still, I am a novice...

Reading this from over 24 hours of pain that can't seem to be deadened by anything in my medicine cabinet nor by the stretches I have attempted to do... knowing, trusting that God has heard my cry....even though I am still hurting, it is comforting to know He hears.

I think I have journaled before about the car accident when I was 5 y.o. A truck pulled out in front of my dad and I ended up going through the windshield of the car. I am guessing that someone picked us up and drove us to our family doctor.  All I remember is an awareness of being held in my dad's arms.  I remember seeing his hands, bloodied from my blood, yet I was comforted by those hands.

This last accident, while in neuro-critical care, I experienced that same sense of being held in my Dad's arms and protected by his hands.  I would wake up and ask where my Dad was.  The nurses, being all wise would tell me my dad had not been there and then they would give me something that put me back in some other land.  Once I was able to see myself, I knew Dad had not been holding me, because with the halo on...I was not able to be held!  But, I KNEW I had been held. It is being held that comes to my mind as I reflect on those words, "...[He] heard my cry..."

Just as my wonderful earthly dad could not take away my pain, my heavenly dad reaches out to hold me close, in and during the pain...just as I have experienced in the arms of my dad here on earth. It is from the love of that embrace, that I am lifted...and given "...a new song to sing..."

It is in the new song, that I begin a new day.  A day...that still holds pain, yet a day that is new, a day with sun shining and birds praising their Creator. A new day to reach out beyond myself and discover God in another person, within nature,  maybe within a new song...

My prayer mantra for this new day will be..."you hear my give me a new song.." Like I said, I am a novice at Lectio Divina, Macrina has written that her mantra sometimes gets shorten to just one or two words.  I will carry these words in my well as continuing with the pain patches and the stretches. : )

Sing to the Lord by Hillsong

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
"When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." ~Author Unknown

I like the notion of "Hope" whispering in my ear.  I think, as a Christian, I would identify "Hope" as "Spirit" always waiting to guide me, encourage me, befriend me...always there.  It is up to me, how I care for myself and how I strive to pay attention, to hear Spirit's nudges and whispers.

On page 67 of her book, Macrina include a journal entry that reads:
"I've been on this prayer-mantra for four days now. I keep saying it over and over and God keeps saying, 'More, more, more!...I sit musing. Really? It doesn't seem to be working."
Macrina's admission of "It doesn't seem to be working." is encouraging for me, it helps me to know that I'm not simply dense and that reading scripture with Lectio Divina some times does take perseverance.

Today, I moved on to page 71 and Macrina's entry on a passage from Deuteronomy.  The entire passage reads:
   1 Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
   hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
   and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
   like abundant rain on tender plants.
 3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
   Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
   and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
   upright and just is he.
 5 They are corrupt and not his children;
   to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.
6 Is this the way you repay the LORD,
   you foolish and unwise people?
Is he not your Father, your Creator,
   who made you and formed you?
 7 Remember the days of old;
   consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
   your elders, and they will explain to you.
8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
   when he divided all mankind,
he set up boundaries for the peoples
   according to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 For the LORD’s portion is his people,
   Jacob his allotted inheritance.
 10 In a desert land he found him,
   in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
   he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
   and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
   and carries them aloft.
12 The LORD alone led him;
   no foreign god was with him.

This passage begins by praising God and then comparing our perfect God with his so very imperfect human creations.  The author shares with me how, even when God's people treated him badly, God continued to work within and among he continued to care for them.  And then in verse 11 the author uses the image of God as an eagle, a visual so that the reader might better understand and it was these verses that cause Macrina to stop, to read again and again... And as she stayed with these verses, a greater understanding rose within her heart.
"My parent God has done the same for me. He found me in a wilderness. It was the wilderness of my own shallow life. It was my desert of illusions. He enticed me forth. He called me to new heights."She hover over me, spreading out her wings to receive me. She asked me to let go of my empty and false gods. With her love for nurturing and her eye for protection, God is both Mother and Father to me. Continually, she carries me to the heights."When I remember this eagle flight of my life I feel so loved and in love. I am cherished. I feel gratefully safe. I can only call out, 'Take me to the heights and I'll learn to fly.' You, my God, spread forth wings to bear me up."(Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 72)
There are time I may slip into thinking, "I" am working to be on this faith journey, but when I am rested and aware, I know my efforts are a response to Spirit's nudging me to let go of my empty and false gods so that I might fly to new heights.

There is a difference between thinking I am instituting this journey and recognizing I am responding.  I feel like saying, "Wow! God loves me so much that he spends the time necessary to get me to move!"

I "know" this intellectually, yet, thinking about it just now....fills my heart with joy.

After my last car accident, a particular song both held me up, and at times gave me frustration.  There are phrases within it that I reacted to, "Where were my angels?" or "I think my angels looked away because I did a whole lot more than stub my toe!"

I think I needed to voice my anger and my fear, because God couldn't heal me until I let go of those negative emotions raging in my heart and soul.  Praise God, once I let them go, then healing began.And maybe it was God nudging me that got me to let go of those feelings to begin with.

Lord, I do have a huge case of my own illusion of being in control, of deciding my future... Again and again, you have shown me that I am in your hands and that when I trust you to guide me and to lead me, I am able to rise up in ways I could never have done on my own. Thank you. Thank you for your Holy Word and for teachers who share their own struggles and victories of being led by your Spirit! AMEN.


Many Blessings ~ Sandi
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This is not a pen, it is a prayer, one must have com­pas­sion for that. ~ FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY
"My journal is my best friend. It is a place where I feel safe to come with my grief and my anger, my joy and delight, my questions, my confusion and frustration, my anxieties, my amazement and awe, my love and ecstasy...Each mantra that I pray with is only a handful of flour and a little oil; yet I have found it sufficient to change my famine into a feast on many a day. My life has been blessed because I've believed in these crumbs. (M. Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 66)
...a sheltering rock for me...
'Be a sheltering rock for mealways accessible...On you I have relied from birth.'" ~ (Ps. 71:3-6)
Really...two thoughts today, journaling and Psalm 71.  But, since I have been away from scripture for a week, I am going to focus on the Psalm.  However, I continue to hold journaling as a spritiual practice that is also meaningful and helpful to me.  I've never thought of my journal as my "best friend".  hummm...

Macrina writes that she had never thought of rocks as shelter, but sitting with Psalm 71:3-6 she began pondering the rocks in her life and images and moments came to mind.  One rock in particular stood out from her childhood.  While it didn't shelter her from physical elements, it sheltered her from many of the fears in her life.
"It was like a table where I could sit in moments of sadness. It housed a little spring at its base. That spring became for me water from the rock." (Ibid)
As Macrina thinks of other rocks and the significance they provided in her life, her thoughts move on to people who have sheltered her in various ways.
"As I prayed with these rocks this morning, I was brought to a new awareness of how true it is that you, my God, are a sheltering rock in my life, always accessible. You are a rock to lean on, to climb to the heights on, to rest in the shade of. On you I have relied from birth...Oh God, be a sheltering Rock for me!" (Wiederkehr, p 67)
 This is an example of Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading! As I read, images of rocks from my own life have come to mind.
Turkey Run State Park - Indiana
I have gone to Turkey Run, for as long as I can remember and I can't remember ever going without going on Trail 3.  
The rocks along this trail, always sheltered me from the heat of the day, amazed me with the moss, plants, and trees that grew between crevices. I knew Trail 3 like I knew the back of my hand, yet it was when we took my elderly G'pa Breneman down into the beginning of the trail that I was blessed with a new lens for looking at those familiar rocks.  G'pa was a Church of the Brethren pastor and the first words he uttered were, "Amazing! Can't you just see the hand of God working these rocks like we might work clay to form something so spectacular?"

I have never looked at any rock without G'pa's insight echoing in my mind.

The Garden of the Gods' and Pike's Peak.
Talk about majesty! I can still remember hiking all around the Garden of the Gods'.  Once, my mom took a picture of my dad, brothers and me standing WAY up high on top of one of these monuments.  Another tourist commented on the questionable wisdom of those crazy people, but I remember a sense of freedom and smallness.  I remember a sense of being part of something I could not comprehend or put a name to.  And Pike's Peak...again, the majesty and the awe-moments this beautiful mountain provided.

The beautiful rolling Smokey Mountains.
You know, bigger isn't always more impressive.  I can remember thinking the Smokey Mts were a bit disappointing after the glory of the Rockies, yet as I became older, I could appreciate a gentleness, a quietness of these wonderful mountains.  As I became older, these mountains spoke to my heart in an entirely different way, I sense a feeling of peace, looking out over these mountains.

(Later today, I will take pictures and words of "my" rocks and  to include in this posting)

"Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible...On you I have relied from birth." 

Relying on God...unawares...
My words of majesty, peacefulness, awesome, foundation, rest, diversity, color... When I consider the rocks of my life, they tell me about their Creator that I have relied from my birth...sometimes unaware.

I haven't journaled from Macrina's book for a week.  Holidays, making hospital calls, family...have taken precedence.  However, I have been carrying the thoughts of Lectio Divina in my heart as I have worked through all the days and moments of this past week!  AND...I've even been aware of doing so!

Today, reflecting on Psalm 71 with Macrina I am going into a busy day with the image and truth as God as my Rock, my shelter...on whom I have relied on from birth...will go with me.  I am sure others have thought of this same hymn when they have read through this passage in Macrina's book...

God, thank you for the amazing newness that is opening within my heart. I love the quietness and the peacefulness that I so often experience! Thank you for putting me on this earth at this time.  Thank you for being my Rock, my Shelter...the One on whom I have and can continue to rely. AMEN! 

Fernando Ortega

Fernando Ortega...a wonderful version of Rock of Ages:

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Macrina had me at the very first sentence of this chapter (6. A Handful of Flour, a Little Oil)...

The Widow of Zarephath 1 Kings 17:8-24
"The stream of our lives has a way of drying up at times, and ravens or angels are not always around to bring us food. The widow of Zarephath found herself in this dried up state. She was gathering sticks to prepare a last meal for herself and her son before they died. It was then that the prophet appeared on the scene, asking for a drink of water. Her poverty did not prevent her from setting off to get the water; but when Elijah asked also for a scrap of bread, she was brought face to face with the reality of her emptiness. It is one thing to be empty, but when you are asked to feed someone out of your emptiness it can be terrifying...My hope for you is that you never give up on your handful of flour and your little oil. When you believe in it, the little that you have has tremendous potential to increase. Your jar of meal will not run out. Your little oil shall last forever." (Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 64)
You can watch/listen to this story at...Elijah - 1 Kings 17   Or read it from The Message Bible at 1 Kings 17

Like Macrina, I too identify with the widow.  There have been times in my own life  that I have felt as though I've so little...not enough. I learned there is a term for living from this place of heart/soul, Living with an Attitude of Scarcity.  I have been blessed so that I have normally been able to give from abundance, but did you notice...Elijah asked the widow to feed him first AND then to go back and make bread for herself and her son.  This after she had told him she only had enough for one small meal.

Living from an attitude of scarcity produces fear, greed, discontent... We in the West, even in our most difficult of times, have not known the littleness the widow of Zarephath faced. I admit, I have felt afraid.  I have not been as trusting with my little.
"It is then I remember that a little is enough if I bring to it my real presence. When you believe in your little, miracles happen. When you remember the crumbs, wonders abound." (Ibid)
To help me reflect more on this truth, Macrina has included a short poem before she offers me examples of "handfuls of flour and a little oil" that have helped her during her days and times of famine.

                                       Having eaten my last crumb
I hear a voice in the wilderness of my heart 
Bring me a little water
the voice pleads.

I am off for the water
when again I am interrupted
Bring me a scrap of bread
the voice calls.

I freeze inside, barely able to believe
the demands of God.
It is kindness to give someone a drink, yes
But to give out of an empty house is agony.

Someone is asking for a crust of bread
And I have only 
a few tears
a handful of flour
a little oil.
The sticks in my hand
are to build a fire,
to bake a few crumbs for myself
before I die.

But the call waits in my soul
like a volcano.
I bake the bread in silence
with my tears
with my handful of flour
with my little oil.
The salt from my tears is the seasoning.

The hungry one eats and is nourished.

Suddenly I am hungry no longer
My vessel of flour is undiminishing
My jar of oil never runs dry.

When you have gathered up the crumbs
of all you have and are
And baked your bread
in the only place left;
the oven of your heart,
Then you will know what it means 
to be bread for the world.

There is a wealthy in poverty
that ought not to be wasted.
There is a nourishment in crumbs
that ought to be tasted.

Lord, I don't know if I am strong enough to give when I feel I have so little. Yet, I do remember giving encouragement to another when I myself was close to despair...and miracle of miracles...hope swelled in my own heart as well.  Help me remember these times of being fed so well from what seemed to be so little! Lord, help me to trust my life, and the life of those I your hands. AMEN.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Monday, June 27, 2011
"Learn to pause...or nothing worthwhile will be able to catch up to you." ~ Doug King

I discovered a wonderful song that is based on Psalm 23, Shepherd Me Oh God 

"Rest with Me a while. You have journeyed up a steep, rugged path in recent days." ~ Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

I listen to this song, Shepherd Me Oh God, and all I can think of when it ends is, AMEN and AMEN.

I lost my posts on Macrina's book, A Tree Full of Angels last week. I was shocked and a bit frantic, but then only saddened.  Today, several days later, I'm ready to begin again, but first a quick review.

Macrina is introducing me to a spiritual discipline called Lectio Divina.  This is the practice of reading scripture in a sense of prayer. Macrina says,
"It is reading with the eye of God, under the eye of God. It is reading with the desire to be totally transformed by the Word of God, rather than just to acquire facts about God." (Macrina Wierderkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 5)
 There are four parts of Lectio Divina, Macrina has added a fifth:

  1. Reading under the eye of God (Lectio) - 
    1. This is a slow, reflective reading, reading with a longing to be touched, healed, and transformed by the Word.
    2. It is quality reading rather than quantity.
  2. ...Until your heart is touched (Meditatio or Meditation)
    1. A touched heart means God has, in some way, come.
    2. Meditation is a process in which you struggle with the Word of God that has entered your heart.
    3. Macrina uses imagery as she prays through this process.
  3. ...Until your heart is touched (Oratio or Prayer)
    1. Prayer is said to be a response to God and to life. It comes from a heart that has been touched.
    2. Prayer is mutual yearning, mutual straining, mutual aching.
    3. Prayer is tasting life. Prayer is responding to life. Prayer is a very important link between meditation and contemplation.
  4. ...Then give yourself up to love (Contemplation)
    1. Here we let go of our dependency on thoughts, words and images.
    2. Contemplation is like going to heaven for awhile.
  5. Journaling
Macrina has added this and it is what was completely lost in my posting on Thursday so I know it has not been read.  While Macrina sees journaling as a must, I am no so sure.  I obviously enjoy journaling so it works for me, yet I know there are people who struggle with this practice, because that is what it is, journaling is one more spiritual discipline or practice.

I have a wonderful book, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Practices that Transform Us. It is full of all kind of practices because...NOT EVERY PRACTICE WORKS FOR EVERY PERSON!!!

This is important for me to remember, otherwise, I can feel like I have "failed" when a practice does not work. However, it is just as important to know I need to practice, sit with, a discipline for awhile before making that judgement.

Macrina offers some helps as I begin my journey to "sit with" Lectio Divina.
1. I begin with reading, if necessary or desired...Since my goal is not to get finished, it often takes several months to complete the specific work I am praying with...I have no set plan that is so rigid it cannot be put aside for a while should God decide to come to me through some other channel, like nature or people. We ought not to lock God anywhere, not even in Scripture.

2. Once I have chosen my Scripture verse, the line that attracted my heart, it becomes my mantra for the day. I grapple with its meaning for me. I listen to it. I ask God and myself questions about it. I use images.  ***Note this mantra could just as easily be a quote, an image, a person... I would carry it with me during my day and do all the things Macrina has just listed as doing with a verse of Scripture.

3. Prayer flows naturally out of my meditation. Prayer slows me down and nudges me toward letting go of images and thoughts. It directs me toward my quiet resting in God. It is a gentle slowing down of my inner motor.

4. Contemplation is often spoken of as the highest form of prayer. It is the prayer of heaven. It is the beautiful darkness of trusting God to pray within me. It is interior prayer. ***Note, Macrina writes more about Contemplation on page 60. I would be more than willing to send her thoughts to anyone who asks for more...

5. Journaling can be done whenever you have the time or feel the call. In the journal sections of  of this book I share with you the Scripture verse from my daily reading that touched my heart. In sharing with you my reflection on that verse, I am partially showing you what went on inside of me during my meditation. Not all of my prayer can be shared with you, because sometimes it is a wordless response: tears, silent gratitude, a profound bow, arms outstretched, kneeling with my beggar's bowl, waiting.

Macrina shares that her experience with Divine Reading (Lectio Divina) began as a child long before she came to know the Scriptures as the Word of God. 
"The spirituality of my childhood is the one I would most like to have restored. It was pure and fresh and honest. I read God everywhere! It was Divine Reading at its best. The forest was my  place of solitude. The trees, like gods and goddesses, bent down to hear my prayers. I trusted them with all the secrets of my heart, and I was never disappointed. In their presence I felt safe...I have become too complicated in my prayer..." (Wiederkehr, p 62)

 Boy, does that last sentence strike my heart! Just yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with the "storyteller" of my congregation. I love this man so much, but yesterday, he took me to a new place. After everyone had left from Parlor Conversations he stopped me and asked what I believed about God...creation...heaven...
At one point I said, "You know, I think a new baby is born, full of God's Spirit but as that child grows, we (the world) push that Spirit from him/her, so that eventually, they forget.

Macrina ends this chapter with a poem:

Is There a Lost Child in You?
What pains me most
these days
is my inability
to reach back into my years
and touch the child I was.

And yet,
deep within my soul
that child
Wouldn't it be something if we would trust a smile child
to teach us something instead of us always being the wise one?
lives on.

There are days
my adult ways
turn tasteless in my mouth
and the child of long ago
pressing on my soul.

On days like that
I long to touch that child again
and let her take me by the hand
and lead me down a path that has a heart
and show me all the things 
I've stopped seeing
because I've grown 
too tall.

Anthony Way

Anthony Way- I heard the voice of Jesus say

If you would like to spend a few more minutes listening to angels, check out:
Libera - Far Away

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sorry! I finished writing about the fifth piece of the Lectio Divina today while in the church office...I saved it....and everything but the entry below disappeared.

I was hoping I would find it when I got to my home computer...but its gone.

I cannot retype all the entries. My family is all coming home this weekend to celebrate my parents' 61st wedding anniversary, Nancy's 30th birthday, and Laura's upcoming due date for her baby.

I don't know enough to have any idea where my postings have gone.

Again, I'm sorry.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

Saturday, June 18, 2001 - Lectio Divina - II Until Your Heart Is Touched...
Be still.... Let faith arise....I lift my hands to believe again....

Meditation begins when my heart is touched. Prayer, a response to God, is a natural outgrowth of mediation.
"Read until your heart is touched. When your heart is touched, stop reading...A touched heart means God has, in some way, come. God has entered that heart. Begin your meditation.  Meditation is a process in which you struggle with the Word of God that has entered your heart. If this Word wants to be a guest in your heart, go forth to meet it. Welcome it in and try to understand it. Walk with it. Wrestle with it. Ask it questions. Tell it stories about yourself. Allow it to nourish you. Receive its blessing. To do this you must sink your heart into it as you would sink your teeth into food. You must chew it with your heart." (Macrina Wiederkehr, A Tree Full of Angels, p 54)
There is a lot of imagery within this paragraph.  "Word" has taken on a human quality..."be a guest", "walk with it", "ask it questions", tell it stories"....

This may difficult to understand, yet what does it look like when I open the door to a friend and invite her in?

I take her coat, ask her to sit down, I might offer her a glass of tea...and then we visit.  We catch up on the news of one another's life!  We talk about work, a good book, our gardens, our grandkids... We ask each other questions.  We might share a concern.

This is what Macrina suggest I do with the Word of God, with Scripture.  The "Word" is also a name for Jesus.  Perhaps, if it is too much of a stretch to do these things with a scripture passage, maybe imagining Jesus, sitting across from me saying these things....  Hummm, what would that be like!

"To  give you an example of how all this works...let's say I am praying with Psalm 61. I come to verse 3, 'To the rock too high for me, lead me!' For some reason my heart is touched. I lay my Bible down and slowly repeat that line. 'To the rock to high for me, lead me!' Why has this particular phrase edged its way into my heart? I ponder the reason for its coming. Then I recall, there is so much in my  that seems too high for me to reach. I need someone to life me up. I am reminded of an intense new desire, an immense urge, to reach the heights that God has planned for me. This psalm verse is a cry from my heart, a cry for God to lift me to the heights since the experience of life has shown me I can't get there alone." (Wiederkehr, p 55)