“Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His love for you and yours for Him.” A Course in Miracles
“The humble man receives praise the way a clean window takes the light of the sun. The truer and more intense the light is, the less you see of the glass.” Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
dressed in rags,
her care-worn hands
and silent tears
cleanse his dusty feet.
As she kneels,
heart in anguish,
her whole being is
His tranquil soul.
Drying His feet
with her hair,
with grateful kisses,
she is free.
Within the last year or so, three beloveds–one being my father–have told me that they think I am courageous. Each time I was taken aback. I do not see it.
In fact, after a recent incident with a friend and her daughter, I was confronted with just how much of my life has been and is driven by fear. Fear of being judged, fear of disapproval, fear of confrontation, fear of displeasing people, fear of not being loved, fear of not being worthy to be loved, fear of making mistakes, fear of being helpless, fear of not being smart enough or pretty enough or good enough . . .
. . . my heart races, doubts assail me and I look for a way out by staying under the radar.
And so . . .
“Pray for my daughter. She’s walking to work.”
“That’s a long way, what happened?”
“She doesn’t have a ride and she doesn’t need my help.
I told her I would take her but I was going to tell her
boss she doesn’t have transportation. (Part of the conditions
of her employment is to have transportation.) She said no
and walked out the door.”
Imagining the worst that could happen to this beautiful and intelligent 17-year-old woman walking over six miles to work on shoulder-less roads and through sketchy areas, I hopped into my truck in search of her. Luckily, I found her not too far from her home and she willingly accepted a ride.
As we drove, she received a text from her mother, “Don’t come home.”
Even though my insides were in an uproar, I remained as outwardly calm as I could, so that I could support the daughter through this traumatic event. When I dropped her off, there were tears in her eyes as I gave her a hug.
After I got home, a text conversation with her mother made me realize how my fears had informed my friendship with her and how the advice I had given her over time was not completely truthful or helpful.
During some quiet time, I reflected on the gutsy girl who walked out of her house not knowing the outcome of her decision yet remaining true to herself.
And then, remembering some of my past . . .
“You better not get pregnant!”
I was barely 19 years old when my father called me to his office in the basement of our home and spoke those words to me–fearful himself, I’m sure. I’d just started college away from home, was with my first serious boyfriend, and I was beginning to explore some alternative activities and ideas that were in direct contradiction to some of the conditioned ways I was raised.
My father’s stern and strict methods of discipline still left me fearful and confused but I was determined to “walk out the door.”
The rest, as they say, is history. (See my Home Page for some of the highlights.)
Gutsy and courageous? I don’t know, maybe. Will I still make decisions based on my fears? Probably, but hopefully less and less as I allow those fears to fall away in the light of God’s Love and Grace.
. . . it could be as simple as making the best hand with the cards I’ve been dealt.
“Take back the rainbow,” a slogan that originated with the Christian organization, Answers in Genesis, as a reaction to the LGBTQ community’s use of vibrant rainbow-colored flags as their symbol, just came into my awareness.
“Take back the rainbow” seems to be an odd and rather narrow minded perspective of this God given symbol. That is the trouble with gripping so tightly to representations or idols, they become a means of reactionary divisiveness.
According to the Torah, after the flooding of the earth, God spread the arc of color to seal a promise . . .
I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:11-13
To those of the Jewish and Christian faith, the rainbow is a holy and sacred sign of Love and hope; and no less so to LGBTQ folks who have endured maltreatment, ridicule, and discrimination. This is not to say that Jews and Christians have not suffered horrendous and unimaginable oppression and persecution. Abuse and victimization are imposed by those identified with the belief in separation and suffered by all human beings, or, if you prefer, affliction and trauma can be the result of a fallen world.
What most interests me is the light which creates this Roy G. Biv phenomenon; the incredible way that the light of our sun refracts through the waters of the atmosphere to reveal light’s infinite possibilities.
The following verses from the Hebrew Bible appear to suggest that the first, and I dare say most important, gift we have been given is light!
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3-4
Light is an important theme throughout the Bible. Jesus intuitively understood this . . .
Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.” John 8:12
. . . and its illuminative purpose—the Greek word for “darkness” in the verse above is “skotia” which is “used to describe ignorance of divine things.” Within this context it seems we are being told that, if we choose, we have the ability to shine by the light of the Holy Spirit and bring healing and wholeness to a hurting world. In Matthew 5:15-16 Jesus tells us . . .
Likewise, when people light a lamp, they don’t cover it with a bowl but put it on a lampstand, so that it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
There is some question as to the origin of the following quote—Albert Einstein or Baruch Spinoza—nevertheless it works well here.
We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.
. . . and I would add . . . through which our rainbows shimmer and glisten.
heart of my heart
source of my soul
sustainer of my flesh
in you I live
and have my being
from the highest
to the deepest
as close as east and west
all dimensions, all degrees
time and consciousness
eternally we are
one in trust
one in truth
one in love
as I am