a different picture of prayer closets

[in the middle of enjoying the novel, The Brothers K, I thought I’d google the author, David James Duncan, and stumbled on this little paragraph]:

Where is the “closet” that Christ tells us to enter, and where the door He tells us to close, before we can properly address the Father who sees in secret, and openly rewards what transpires in secret? My experience has been, almost never where I think it’s going to be. My experience has been that the divine Father or Mother (I refuse to limit God to Guyness!), with Perfect Unpredictability, once in a while elects to answer some puny inner effort on my part, or ease some heartache I’m suffering—always unexpectedly. When that moment comes, ABRACADABRA!, a secret prayer closet is instantly created out of anything or nothing, then WOOOSH!, I’m swallowed by it and thrown into the unseen presence of Her or Him and Om Shanti WOW! stun-stun-stunned by invisible but palpable beauty, oceanic love, oceanic mystery. Then—REVERSE WHOOOSH!—the closet vanishes, the divine FatherMother moves back into the usual nowhere inside the here, and I’m left standing bliss-drenched and reeling with awe on the mean but somehow glorious streets of wherever I happen to be, unfit for any kind of rational public discourse; hopelessly unfit for a career in American Consumerism; unfit for a career in American literature, too, when I try to speak of such unspeakables as I’m doing now; yet unspeakably glad to have been born. My experience is that the King or Queen of the Interior Wild has a Home-Repair-Gal-like love for erecting instant closets out of zilch, throwing unsuspecting fools into them, steeping us fools in intergalactic love, then dissolving the whole deal and leaving the survivor stupefied by gratitude, pole-axed by grace, or “surprised by joy” as C.S. Lewis rather overpolitely puts it. But, as Mary Oliver adds, “Joy is not made to be a crumb.” These veritable bushwhackings by secret closets then become absolute icons in my faith life.

– David James Duncan, from a memoir called A Prayer Closet in Utah

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