Inspiration Category


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!

Experience

Experience

“…I had an experience, I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it. But everything that I know as a human being, everything I am, tells me that it was real. I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever. A vision of the universe that tells us undeniably how tiny and insignificant and how rare and precious we all are. A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater than ourselves. That we are not, that none of us are alone. I wish I could share that. I wish that everyone, if even for one moment, could feel that awe and humility, and the hope but…that continues to be my wish.”  Dr. Eleanor Arroway, “Contact” 1997

Carved Images

Carved Images

Sometimes I just want to yell at the top of my lungs, “Stop the madness!” STOP THE MADNESS!! STOP!!! THE!!! MADNESS!!! I want to get off this crazy ride!

I can’t stand watching the news. To be honest, I don’t know who to believe any more concerning any news stories—particularly political ones; and the sniping and nastiness that occurs on social media makes my heart hurt. Blacks hating whites, whites hating blacks; gay, straight, and transgender hatred; Democrats against Republicans against Socialists and vice versa; sexism; pro-life versus pro-choice; this label against that label . . . and on and on and on. The whole world feels like it is spinning out of control.

Where did all the love go?

But then I read a chapter or verse in the Bible that strikes a chord within, have a WOW moment and Peace returns.

I was reading in Deuteronomy this morning, one of my favorite books in the Bible. Oh, I might as well confess, any book in the Bible that I’m reading at the time is my favorite book. By the time I’ve read through Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers into Deuteronomy, I am so awestruck by Moses–he’s become my best friend–(spoiler alert) that I cry when he dies at the end without getting to enter the Promised Land.

Anyway . . . what inspired me this day were verses out of chapters three, four and five where Moses is retelling the Exodus story—a review and summary, so to speak, of their (the Israelites) journey thus far. What follows are the verses that caught my attention:

You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain; and the mountain blazed with fire to the heart of heaven, with darkness, clouds and thick mist. Then ADONAI spoke to you out of the fire! You heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice . . . do not become corrupt and make yourselves a carved image having the shape of any figure—not a representation of a human being, male or female . . .Watch out for yourselves, so that you won’t forget the covenant of ADONAI your God, which he made with you, and make yourself a carved image, a representation of anything forbidden to you by ADONAI your God . . . You are to have no other gods before me. You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline . . .

Why is God so concerned with his people making carved images?

Then it hit me . . .because WE are the image of God!

My pastor said, “this image—humankind—testifies that God is here!”  He went so far as to say that being the image of God is a “calling.”

Do you hear it?

John Newton’s words in the hymn “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” declares it so beautifully, “God, whose word cannot be broken, formed thee for His own abode.”

My pastor was cultivating this with his message Sunday entitled “Image Sharing.” He challenged us by saying that we re-present God by the way we live and act; would someone looking at us say, “now there is what God looks like.” He closed with a story that ended with, “if God is bigger than we are and God lives in all of us, shouldn’t He show through?”

Does He?

All the labels that we thrust upon ourselves and others are “carved images” that only serve to separate us from each other and from God.

If you aren’t a Christian or don’t believe in God, then allow the words of Rumi to en-lighten your hearing and seeing.

When someone criticizes or disagrees
with you, a small amount of hatred
and antagonism is born in your heart.
If you do not squash that out
at once,
it might grow into a snake,
or even a dragon.