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All is Well

All is Well

“Everything is fine.”  Josephine Fridinger

This quote does not offer much insight, but the way it came to me 19 years after it was written from my mother is. I had been feeling her absence a little more acutely and wishing for some encouragement from her. As I was reading, the postcard–that I use for a bookmark–on which the above is written, fell out of the book and the words sprang off the paper in a mystic greeting. Elatedly, I began to cry. Thanks, Mom, everything is fine!

All is Well

Kindness

“All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing.  I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had.  I have purified them of the errors that hid their light, and kept them for you in their own perfect radiance.  They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt.  They came from the Holy Spirit within you, and we know what God creates is eternal.” 
A Course in Miracles

Journey Into Silence

Journey Into Silence

Journey Into Silence:  Transformation Through Contemplation, Wonder and Worship

Chaim Bentorah

One of my favorite places to visit, close to my home, is the local Catholic church, St. James.  I go there to get away from the noise and cacophony of life.  The silence in the sanctuary envelopes my soul like a warm blanket on a snowy day.  The whole world seems to pause in absolute quiet.  I enter into the stillness overwhelmed by the cultural clamoring clatter and leave feeling completely calm and peaceful.

This is how I felt while reading Chaim Bentorah’s book, Journey Into Silence:  Transformation Through Contemplation, Wonder and Worship.  With heart-bearing insights, he demonstrates the value and necessity of reflective solitude.  Walk with Chaim Bentorah on his three silent retreats and come to know just how very much you are loved.

 

More What If . . .

More What If . . .

A beloved friend wrote the following in response to my “What If” post from several months ago.  I often ask him for his thoughts, advice, and editing on my posts because he helps me see more clearly and often articulates that which I sense but cannot express myself . . .

. . . so “What If” unpacked . . .

If light is the absence of darkness and life is the absence of death, what if loving-kindness is the absence of wrath?

And if we accept that God Who is Love is Light is Truth is Beauty is also All there is, ever was, ever can be, omnipotent omnipresent omniscient, or as Jesus indicated “I Am before Abraham was,” prior to and beyond all concepts of time, space, matter and relativity, yet containing and permeating all of time, space, matter and relativity, and if nothing “apart” from God Who is All can ever be real…

…Then what if darkness, death and wrath are made up, illusions, dreams, projections of the Child or Extension of God who is not different or apart from God and therefore can choose even to imagine into apparent and substantial existence a whole world based on separation, in other words on death and fear and wrath and darkness, a world apart from God, his own tiny little kingdom to rule as a demigod, a world deeply conflicted by his own imaginings, not just can but has, and who is now so very lost in his projections, believing they are real, he is apart, and it is God who is merely imagined…

And yet in his heart of hearts, all the while as he seems to be very afraid and alone and guilty, somehow still in that deepest of all places that he also IS, he knows, without realizing that he knows, that what he has imagined into existence as something apart is not real… And that God wants him to extend as the very Creation this truth the Child of God also truly IS, which is all this very same love and light and beauty that IS and OF God…

And stop making up (believing) into apparent and imagined separation a world of fear and pain, wrath and loneliness…

Yet here he is, still imagining himself as this world we have together made up out of all our images (idols) of separation, all of us vehemently persisting in looking and projecting through fear and guilt, darkness and wrath…  Ever deeper into our imaginings in other words, as we try so hard to imagine, through all this fear and pain and guilt, for a “way” out… Which of course, only results in adding ever more foolishness on top of foolishness, fear on top of fear, pain on top of pain…

ALL of it merely belief… But because he believes all this separation and pain, fear and darkness is also what he is, he believes he cannot let it go… He believes he will die if he lets go of hell…

Yet in truth he will live… For the first time… Consciously….

The world he believes is his life are the illusions of death, and what he fears to be death, a cessation of the illusions of death he believes he also is, is the truth of life, love, God, which he actually and eternally also IS, and has never not been…

What he believes is darkness is his own closed eyes to (or a turning away from, into his own imaginings) the light of all of existence, sometimes called consciousness, awareness, presence, God… That we also are…

What he fears is wrath is actually the callings of Freedom to recognize that freedom is also what he is…

Isn’t all this what Jesus’s whole life was about showing, revealing, pointing to…?

All this child of God need do in truth is stop imagining all the foolishness, simply (not easy, at least in the beginnings, but it is simple) stop believing it, and realize that all he seems to see as “other” is himself, his projections…  Fearful or loving, his choice, always, see through fear or see through love… There is no guilt in Truth, God neither judges nor blames, it was always and all merely a mistaken belief…

Simply recognize it as a mistake, and then begin to choose again – Differently…  Over and over, until all the myriad ways our one basic mistake is hiding from us are revealed, recognized, and seen through…

In seeing with and through love, what we fear slowly (and occasionally instantly and radically) becomes love, always in its own time and ways, neither different nor apart from God that we also are… 

Like clouds that the light of the sun shines through, dissolving them into the empty sky they are also made of, with This emptiness being the Emptiness of God, out of which all of manifest existence arises…

The God Who Sees

The God Who Sees

Often times when I am reading my Bible, a verse or passage will jump off the page; stunned, I end up wondering how I missed it before, considering the number of times I have read it in the past.

Such was the case just recently.

I am preparing to lead a Sunday School class on Lysa TerKeurst’s, Finding I Am: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart, which “explores the seven I AM statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John.” Part of each lesson includes reading four to five chapters of the Book of John and answering reflective questions.

I have not gotten very far . . .

. . . I am still in the second chapter with Jesus at the wedding in Cana.

According to the author of the Book of John, this was the first of Jesus’s seven signs and the first miracle of his public ministry.

With much merriment and dancing, typical Jewish wedding celebrations lasted five to seven days. While there, on a Tuesday we are told, Jesus is informed by his mother that they have run out of wine. The story continues starting with verse five:

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone water-jars were standing there for the Jewish ceremonial washings, each with a capacity of twenty or thirty gallons. Yeshua told them, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. He said, “Now draw some out, and take it to the man in charge of the banquet”; and they took it. The man in charge tasted the water; it had now turned into wine! He did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew.

Well? Did you see it, hidden amongst the symbolism?

“. . . but the servants who had drawn the water knew” . . .

. . . the first witnesses to the first miracle!

WOW!

What was their reaction? Did they run off and tell their family and friends or did they keep it to themselves? Did this knowledge change their lives? If so, in what way? Or did they just return to living their normal routine? Who were they? Why did Jesus entrust them with this miracle? Did he know them prior to this celebration? Did they come to trust in Jesus as John said the disciples did?  Did they ask themselves how could this be so?

So many unanswered questions not the least of which is . . . why did this verse stop me in my tracks?

While lying in bed reflecting on the above, the answer came to me . . .

. . . because He saw them!

Hagar in Genesis 16:13 said it this way:

So she named ADONAI who had spoken with her El Ro’i [God of seeing], because she said, “Have I really seen the One who sees me [and stayed alive]?

Unable to conceive, Sarah gives her slave girl, Hagar, to her husband Abraham “to build a family through her.” Hagar becomes pregnant and difficult feelings quickly arise between Sarah and Hagar with Sarah mistreating Hagar so badly that Hagar flees into the desert where she meets “the angel of ADONAI.” During this encounter, Hagar is encouraged to return and submit to her mistress.

The thought of going back could not have been easy . . . many questions must have run through her mind including “How” . . .

. . . but that’s the thing, isn’t it?

Being seen can be empowering!

Those beloveds with whom I am most open, are ones that truly see me and as a result I find myself doing things I never dreamed I could (like writing this blog). We may never know, but hopefully the servants who had drawn the water felt this same emancipation.

Strength seeing Strength; Compassion seeing Compassion; Love seeing Love. God knowing all the qualities of Herself through that which He created. We are each seen and intimately known whether we recognize it or not. Awakening to this kind of Sight brings healing and wholeness to a hurting world.

He sees me . . .

. . . He sees you, beloved!