Broken and Open

He was there every day. How many days had they passed him by? But this day was different. Was he different? Were they different?

‘He’ was a man who had been lame from birth, living his adult life as a beggar asking for help of people as they entered the main worship place in the city. Surely those people would be kind to him. ‘They’ were two of Jesus’ closest disciples, Peter, that impetuous one and John, the one who sat close to Jesus. That day, they ‘saw’ the lame man reaching out to them and from their open, broken hearts the healing power of God moved through them to heal the lame man.

That was the Gospel in church this week. I listened as the homilist created the context for the story, drawing us into the lives of Peter, John and the Lame Man. She asked us to consider the changes in Peter from a simple fisherman to preacher/healer and how that had happened as he received the Holy Spirit and partnered with God.

She continued to develop that point, but I didn’t want to join her there. I wanted to look more deeply at Peter. I wanted to be on the beach with him when he encountered Jesus after …. after… after….he had been exposed as the superficial one, the one who betrays not for money, but for personal safety, for other’s good opinions…after the humiliating crush of his denial.

There are several resurrection stories that mention Peter. In none of them do we hear a word or reprimand or condemnation from Jesus to Peter. In the beach scene, they walk together, a bit apart from the others. Jesus reaches to him in love, restoring him, entrusting him with ministry.

I yearned this morning… Please take us to the beach, walk us through his denial, his grief, his confrontation and reconciliation with Jesus. Walk us into his humility. I wanted to touch his humility, to sit with him in it and experience it myself.

I believe that’s where our power connection lies. Peter and John could be vehicles of

Christ’s healing power because they had been healed themselves. They knew their own lameness and had reached out their own hands receiving healing. They had been humbled, stripped of their own layers of competency till they were open channels for the flow of Divine Love.

This morning I could feel my own layers of competency, of training, of knowledge, of understanding, of pride, and yearn that the dam be broken, that I not be bound by them. Let me crumble before Jesus as Peter did. Let me know my own weakness so that all that is left is a humble heap, a lame woman, with a hand reaching out.

Humility.

Openness to God’s Spirit.

I catch glimpses of how much quiet, internal resistance there is within me to humility. Glimpses of how I can flee from weakness and whip up a shield of competency.

May my heart be open, may my heart be broken so the divine healing power can flow through me to those in need.

Imagine with me … what if more and more of us were open, were broken, were channels of the healing power of Divine Love.

If this is interesting to you, please show support by sharing it with a friend. Let’s broaden the contemplative pathway.

Love and prayers

Anne+

Mystic in Motion

Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada

 

Water and Rocks

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One day last summer, I was sitting on a cottage dock and was drawn to the movement of the water on the rocky shoreline. Water and Rocks. One is so fluid, changing, flowing, adjusting and the other so solid, present, impenetrable and they exist together.

One day this winter, I was sitting in a meeting feeling very much like water – gentle and flowing along when I was thunderstruck by rocks both within myself and in others. A word was spoken in the meeting and I felt the external rigidity in that person and the internal rigidity within myself. In the moment it felt as if my water was drained and I was a huge pile of rock and not the solid present kind I enjoyed in the summer but the controlling, tight, constraining kind of rock feeling. Do you know that one??

I’m self aware enough to recognize the rockslide taking place inside me and slowly I could emerge from it to try to make some reconciliation with the other pile of rocks in the room. Later as I still felt the heap inside me I could recognize more deeply what had happened to me and be grateful for the experience.

I’m at a place in my life where I seek to live in a relaxed, flowing stream, trusting that God is caring for me and the Spirit guiding each moment of my day. All is well. I also know that it took a thunderbolt/avalanche kind of work to get me to this place for my starting place was very controlling. I used to be much tighter, only one way to do things, my way. Perhaps polite about it but clearly liked to have things in order around me and to have things done the ‘right’ way. Because I know about control, I recognize it in others and it remains one of my reactive buttons. If I encounter someone, particularly a man who wants to control me, my stuck, rocky side can show up quickly! Usually quietly, but internally I can seethe.

The thunderbolt that dislodged me in the meeting showed me most clearly my own tendency to control, but it also reminded me of my growing strength in living not in the past but in the present moment, relaxed, trusting, in the flow. And I realized something wonderful… water is stronger than rock. That fluid moving water will change and shape the rocks around it. One steady drop of water on a rock will indent it. rocks are smoothed as they’re tumbled in water. Water is stronger than rock.

Yup. Water is stronger than rock. I will continue to grow in being at ease, in patience and gentleness, in compassion. I chose the fluid, trusting life. In the end, it shapes the world.

I still work in a world where I perceive people trying to control me, but I chose to do my own work, be released from the ancient controlling patterns I have been taught and live in the flow of God’s love coming into the world.

How about you? Are you ‘in the flow’?

If you appreciate my sharing – do pass it along to share with another.

Peace to you all

Anne

Contemplative Fire Community Leader Canada

 

 

When Sharing a Bed with an Elephant

trumpet

Some of you will recall with me when the first Prime Minister Trudeau described Canada’s life as ‘a mouse in bed with an elephant’. Last week, that elephant rolled over and made some noise. It certainly made a big, surprising noise, unpleasant to many and made some want to get out bed! It seems it woke people up to what is going on in the hidden underbelly of America – to people the media clearly weren’t polling or talking to or getting honest answers from. Hence the surprise and the smell. Something is wrong. We can’t avoid it any longer.

In our Gospel this week Jesus describes the upset that will come at the end of the age. He tells his followers that no matter what happens, we’re not to be afraid and we’re not to worry. God is always present and that all things will unfold into a good end. Don’t let circumstances overwhelm us, stand firm, trust in God and let the Spirit continue to care, protect and transform us.

In some of my conversations this week we came back to recognition that the sun will still rise and as one of my favorite people put it, “I can still scratch my dog’s tummy.”

Sometimes our world does feel like it is in upheaval. May Americans learn what they need to learn from this surprising turn and listen well to those who feel they have lost their voice along with their jobs and hopes. May there now arise a community will to tend to the deep seated problems within their society. May we in Canada learn what we might learn as well, for we too have the undervalued and disenfranchised within our midst.

At FIREWORKS this week, our presenter Rev. A. Ross Gibson shared a rich introduction to the perspective of being nonviolent in a violent world. I offer you a prayer he left with us. I find it a challenging prayer, and also one that I can see could clear a pathway for me, for us, for all people into a new age. Questions to pray, to ask of the Holy One each morning:

  • What can I do today to promote justice, disarmament, nonviolence and peace?
  • What concrete action can I take to help end violence, war, poverty, racism, sexism, patriarchy, ageism and evil?
  • How can I practice creative non-violence, relieve unjust suffering, and help disarm the world?
  • How can I serve your reign (God’s reign) of justice and peace today?
  • How can I help more people become nonviolent?
  • How can I help build the global grassroots movement of nonviolence?
  • (an adapted daily prayer of Harry Belafonte)

May your trust in God’s presence grow deeper this week.

Love and prayers

Anne

Contemplative Fire Community Leader Canada

 

 

Finding a Sustainable Life – Part 3: Acceptance

love-dumpsterpreview1

There, right in front of me was a paper coffee cup lying under a bush. Nearby was a napkin. I was literally moments into a Pilgrimage to Now/here, an awareness walk in nature with my Contemplative Fire community, and I’d come face to face with garbage. I immediately wanted to turn back and find a bag to collect all the garbage blown into the ravine we were walking beside. I had to clean it up NOW!

I could feel the compulsiveness of this need to remove anything I considered unsightly – can’t have any garbage, anything messy, anything that clutters life. There was a simple movement from the exterior world of litter to my interior world of perfection, work and morals. Can I acknowledge that there is litter in the ravine and leave it? Can I acknowledge there is litter within me and leave it too?

At the end of the walk a fellow Pilgrim sought me out to share with me his awareness of the parasites that exist within the beauty of creation. All around us that day was the splendor of the summer sky, a rich forest, flowing brook, fields of grass, dramatic trees and countless birds. He’d noticed that within all the beauty were chewed leaves, mould, decay and any number of parasites that made their home. He was aware that God’s love embraced all of creation, including the parasites.

His awareness paralleled mine and deepened it. God is always present and God’s love embraces all of life, including parasites and garbage. God’s love embraces all of my life, the unfinished, messy, cluttered bits. Now will I accept what I judge as unattractive, garbage bits of life and love there too?

Sustainability for me is growing in accepting what is. Not changing, not fixing, not altering, but accepting. More about this next time.
Is there anything that feels like clutter to you in your life? How do you respond to is?

Love and prayers on the journey
Anne
Community Leader Contemplative Fire Canada

“Your garbage, transformed, is your gift.” – Unknown