I Have a Friend

Around the same time I encountered ‘loneliness’, I also was thinking about ‘friendship’. Remember the old hymn, ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’? We’ve talked about having Jesus as a friend, but what if he really was a friend to you? Think about friends and friendship. Maybe allow a good friend to come to your mind and your heart. How do you feel when you’re with them? What do you talk about? What part of your life do you share? What do ask them?

Back in the early days of Christianity there were people who knew Jesus as a friend. They ate with him, talked, laughed, worked, and walked with him. They listened to him, and worried about him. They knew him and trusted him. He was a friend.

After reading ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ a year ago, I began listening to Yoganada’s followers talk about him. He died in 1952 so there are still disciples that knew him or have been trained by those closest to him. They call him ‘Master’ because he is one who has mastered his senses, wasn’t controlled by them but was open to God’s Spirit and they call him ‘Friend’ for they knew him as a friend and feel his presence still with them. They trust him as you would trust your best friend. They know he will help them and that he has their good in his heart. They will say things like, ‘I know Master will help me. I just need to ask him.’ Listening to their devoted trust in their teacher has given new life to me to trust my friend Jesus. I know he is still alive and is attentive to me for I am one of his followers. The old words are taking on a new life, new experience for me.

During my friendship wanderings I once again re-wrote a favourite psalm.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

You’ve led me to solid mountains, flowing creeks, still trees and singing birds.

You have restored my soul.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

You’ve shown me some of the many paths that teach me how to live so your goodness can flow through me.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

Even if I walk through the valley of anger or sadness, or fear, or illness or even death, I know you are with me to guide me and comfort me.  

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

When people around me are hurtful, betray me, misunderstand me, ignore me, I know you are always there. You notice me, nurture and nourish me. I know you place your hand on me for I feel full and overflowing.

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

I am sure that your goodness and mercy follow me every day of my life. No matter where I go, you’ll always be with me. Every where. All the time.  

The Lord is my friend. I have all that I need.

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How about you? Who is your Spiritual Friend? What does that friendship feel like?

Love and prayers

Anne

Mystic in Motion

Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire

Contemplative Fire Canada, Founder

Society Member, Shalem Institute for Contemplative Living.

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