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Speaking Out: The beauty of Adoration

By  Speaking Out, Danielle Rivest
  • February 28, 2019

I remember my first experience of Adoration very vividly. 

In 2010, the summer before I started high school, I went to the Journey to the Father (JTTF) youth conference in Alexandria, Ont., for the first time. On the second day, we all sat on the grass in the main tent area. It was hot and my water bottle was empty. My dad, a chaperone for the group, wanted to talk about what to expect from Adoration that night. 

He said that some people may laugh, some may cry and some may simply be silent. In the end, we should just let the Spirit move us. I couldn’t understand why anyone would cry during Adoration. It was just prayer, after all.

As I knelt on the grass that night with the monstrance before my eyes, I felt the bittersweet sting of tears in my eyes. God — the Father, the Spirit, the Son — was in that place. It was a good kind of overwhelming, like resting in the water after a wave. There was a greatness incomprehensible but completely present among 200 young people on bended knee, worshiping a God of great love.

French Renaissance writer François Rabelais once said, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” I found my “Great Perhaps” at the foot of the cross. Before me was Christ in His everlasting love and mercy. 

I could breathe easier without the anxiety of life filling my lungs. I could finally move without restraint. It was as if my chains had become armour. With tears streaming down my face, I felt the way that God desires for His creation: free.

I came to the realization that in that moment, God and I shared in a mutual Adoration for the other. I felt grateful to the God who saw beyond the facade I fronted for the world. 

He saw the broken, imperfect girl and loved her. He saw beyond the mistakes, hurts and hurdles, and saw His creation and child. For the first time, I didn’t simply know that God loved me, I felt it. I allowed myself to know that it was OK to know that I was loved by God.

I felt insurmountable gratitude and love for the God that never gave up on me. The relationship that God desires for us is that of mutuality. It is not one-sided, conditional or superficial. 

After I left JTTF, I clung to the feeling of freedom I found that Saturday night. Though I tried for as long as I could, that spiritual high slowly became an ache I couldn’t fill. It was only through prayer and Adoration that I found peace, a gentle rejuvenation in God’s embrace. 

Even though life continues to keep me busy, I try to remember that God is with me in the same capacity He was in that tent nine years ago. 

Adoring God is not contingent on a space or time, but the choice to recognize that He is with us now and always. Though I have left that tent and moved on in my life, I use that memory to remind myself that God is the penultimate “Great Perhaps,” and He is found everywhere. I simply need to seek Him out.

(Rivest, 23, is a first-year teacher candidate at Western University’s Faculty of Education in London, Ont.)


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