Inspiration Category


Fear

Fear

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.

Light

Light

“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.

Sacred Holiness

Sacred Holiness

heart of my heart
source of my soul
sustainer of my flesh

in you I live
move
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

You are
as I am
sacred holiness

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

Some days I know and feel more grateful than other days and today was one of those days. The feeling intensified as I went to work in my garden.

This year in addition to tomatoes I planted carrots, cauliflower, squash, cantaloupe, and two varieties of sunflowers—Jerusalem Gold Hybrid and Mammoth.

Since I have written previously about my fascination with sunflowers (see the meditation entitled “Obsession”), you can imagine my utter delight to have TWENTY sunflowers sprouted and growing—the Mammoths are already over two feet tall. While no blossoms are yet on the stalks, I have noticed with absolute enchantment how the stalks and “heads” have already begun to follow the sun across the sky.

I expressed this amazement of mine to my cousin in a recent Skype chat to which he thoughtfully responded:

. . . to follow the light of awareness, presence, love . . . let it lead us . . . actually come in through birth with that orientation and willingness like I suspect Jesus did . . . The way sunflowers from the get go follow the sun even though they haven’t bloomed yet or even know about blooming . . .

I began to wonder, were we not designed with this consciousness from conception too?

As soon as she knew that her relative, Elizabeth, was expecting, Mary went to visit her. When she greeted Elizabeth, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy (Luke 1:44) already knowing the voice of the one who would bear Christ. Jesus himself said “Let the children come to me, don’t stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Yes! I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Mark 10:14-15

Seemingly we are conceived, born and live for an apparent short length of time knowing “God is Love is Trust is One” but somehow begin to believe things we were never intended to believe—that we are separate—separate from others and separate from God. Unconsciously and inevitably we appear to surrender to the influences and elements, the agony and deception of the self-inflicted wound. We accept “the lie” that His Love was too good to be true.

The Good News is that we can choose . . . “to see with Christ’s eyes is to see with the eyes of Love, only Love” . . . which brings healing and wholeness not only to our life but to all lives. A recent meme on the site, Contemplative Monk, states it this way:

“You will never look into the eyes of someone God does not love.”

That’s the calling then, isn’t it?

. . . to let our Light shine in the darkness in order to bring to remembrance that which was instilled in all of us from the beginning . . .

God wants to see
More love and playfulness in your eyes
For that is your greatest witness to Him.

Your soul and my soul
Once sat together in the Beloved’s womb
Playing footsie

Your heart and my heart
Are very, very old
Friends.

(Excerpt from “Your Mother and My Mother” by Hafiz)

Healing

Healing

And also to note that though it may not have been so obvious, there was a lot of difficult energy and feelings of fear and guilt around during those what were for you relatively unconscious times, in terms of all you were going through and struggling and dealing with… You may have “hidden” much of the outer appearances of that, but young children without any language, understanding or experience for it, pick up very deeply on the energy and subtle expressions of their parents, environment and circumstances…

None of this is about guilt or its dual corollary blame, all of which is complete illusion… Michael came into this lifetime to heal all of this, exactly as it has been given to him… That is what he is here for… The same as all of us… Too bad most people don’t realize this…

The circumstances for me surrounding the above passage happened a little over 30 years ago, and yet here I am feeling the inexhaustible wonderment of healing because someone was able to see me. To see me as I was without judgement, but with an awareness so penetrating my entire being feels enveloped in Love and Light seemingly unimaginable, but entirely genuine, authentic, palpable, and vibrant.

This has to have been what it was like for the woman at the well in Samaria when Jesus approached her and asked her for a drink. During their exchange, He saw her through all the illusory and dualistic beliefs she mistakenly accepted about herself and her life and she was therefore and thereafter free—a burden lifted and dissipated.

No wonder she ran off in utter amazement and indescribable joy exclaiming “Come, see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done.”

This is our mission!

We are born into this life to heal and be healed—to see and be seen–through all our strife, anxieties, stresses, and messes to the beauty of the Christ that indwells each and every one of us. There is no higher calling and it is one to which we all are called.

This journey only requires that we be . . .

     . . . open

               . . . listen

                         . . . in tune

                                  . . . with those with whom we share this walk.

There it is again . . . “we are all just walking each other home.” Can you not see it? Can you not hear it? Do you not feel the urgent expectancy? Can you not feel the awe and reverent holiness? Can you not imagine the realities of this consciousness?

Do this . . . and set the world ablaze with the soothing balm of restoration and peace.

Extending Your Heart

Extending Your Heart

I woke up this morning with a feeling of anticipation and expectancy, “I wonder what will happen today for me to write about.”

I was not disappointed. God was prepared!

One of my other volunteer gigs is as a Read Aloud Volunteer in Berkeley County Public Schools.

My grown sons will tell you that I love to read aloud.

Reading aloud to them is one of our keepsake memories. From the time they were little up until they were in high school, I read to them. Sometimes on the steps leading into the interior of our home, sometimes at the breakfast table, sometimes at bedtime—age appropriate fiction or nonfiction, devotionals, and even books about relationships (as they got older)—we did a lot of reading.

I know my father will appreciate this post because as a child I did NOT like to read and he frequently “nagged” me to do so. He is a voracious reader and probably couldn’t understand why he had a daughter that was not—I’m sure he was worried as well.

That all changed for me when in seventh grade I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I could not put it down! It was and still is a favorite book. Later my father got me hooked on historical fiction with a set of westerns known as the Wagons West Series by Dana Fuller Ross.

As a teacher, I did read-alouds in my classroom, even when I taught Science; so, when I saw this opportunity on social media searching for volunteers, I jumped at the chance. This activity also gave me additional time to spend with my 8-year-old granddaughter in her third-grade classroom.

Today was my last weekly visit.  When I finished, each student brought me a hand-made thank you note which was unexpected and joyfully received. Before leaving the parking lot, I read them all.

I was deeply touched by their sincere wishes of thanks, but one in particular was especially inspirational. The following is as she wrote it:

Dear – reader
Thank you for comeing here and to respect our school. We will all miss you and dont forget that we will always be with you. Your the best reader in the world

Did you see it?

“dont forget that we will always be with you.”

Isn’t that amazing? Because it is so true!

I wonder if Jesus had this in mind when he sent out his disciples two by two to “proclaim the kingdom of God.”  I wonder if this how the disciples felt when they returned “with joy.”

The gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus saying, “And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”

So, go forth, extend your heart and let others “always be with you.” You won’t regret it!