The last time we spoke, which, really was also the first time, it was in a goodbye embrace and an admonishment from me for his having opened the door at the gathering with a prayer of "help me." I've blogged about that experience previously (http://salonforthesoul.blogspot.com/2013/06/lay-it-down.html).
It's not that I haven't wanted to answer. I have, but there were no words and I was still in process. Who am I kidding? I will always be "in process," but I knew at the time things were shifting and I wasn't ready to name the shift or even attempt to understand what was happening. I just wanted to let it flow and Spirit have her way as much as I could push my ego aside.
Lent was happening, really happening for me.
Saturday at a beautiful, full and rich Easter Vigil, the preacher, my spiritual director, spoke of this time as waiting-room "liminal," which had been her introduction 20 years ago to the ritual. I clearly identify with the idea of liminal and feel as if I have lived here for 15 years, managing to deal with fibromyalgia. She further described it as the space between the room we have left and the one we have not yet entered. Though we are waiting, alternately anxious and patient, we have the option to shape where we will head next. That comment broke in and grabbed me by the throat. What have I been shaping? I wondered, remembering that I was experiencing an even more liminal space within my longer bout.
My shaping hasn't always been so graceful, pleasant, beautiful, positive or peaceful. Chronic pain is a hard place sometimes, even for the usually patient. Yet, these weeks before Easter have been nothing short of miraculous, if even on a small scale. I've been able to give up a few things and gain some spiritual depth in exchange:
– On my shaman's massage table, I experienced the cross as it seared into my chest and I intimately and fleetingly knew God's overwhelming love for me, moments after she released an awful darkness trapped inside my hips.
– I have begun to shed my former partners of fear and doubt, replacing them with trust and empowerment.
– My word for this year, purification, is happening on many levels from cellular to spiritual, physical to mental.
– A naturopath has helped me see cleansing my body of toxins may ease my pain.
– A low-dose, generic antidepressant recommended by a fibro friend and prescribed by my primary-care doc, has me sleeping, really sleeping for the first time in years. With that deep, relaxing sleep, my pain has vastly decreased!
– All because I was sick on New Year's and missed the retreat, I have come to know its leader in a more personal way; such that she is my new spiritual director.
– Her spirit has gently nudged me toward Lent, where I have felt so attached in discovering for myself what Jesus and resurrection truly mean. I have been playing with the idea of the cross since summer and the mystics' gathering when a dear woman helped me locate the seed of God within myself.
– As my mind and body have cleared, I can almost use the word healed, I am able to surrender to Spirit more deeply than I did on the bench in worship during the mystic's weekend. So many things are up in the air in my life, but it's okay, because I am following Spirit.
So, clearly it still is Stuart's fault that all of these things are joyously happening.
In his e-mail, he admitted to the Holy Spirit commanding him to stand in that June worship by "making use of my brokenness, plant(ing) the seed-word 'help' in many of our hearts. From things I heard about and witnessed as the weekend progressed, it seemed that this seed grew according to the need of the heart in which it was planted."
Maybe it was the next couple of sentences that caused me to delay a response. "... what a beauty it was to witness you being called to turn your life over to Christ ... For a while as the worship ended the Spirit allowed me to feel a bit of the awe of your experience. It so exercised me that I had to retreat to a corner of the room to be apart from the crowd till the sense subsided."
"Turn your life over to Christ" – what language is that? God merely told me to surrender and I did, though it seemed very awkward and not beautiful as I argued like a teenager before finally giving in.
And then, there was my fascination with the center of the cross. My experience on the massage table of fusing with it and finally, during Saurday's vigil after we left the parish hall in darkness, our way lit by the candles we each held, traveled to the knave to hear a loud knocking on the sanctuarty door, it being opened and a flood of light and wondrous music pouring out, I felt the joy of resurrection. For real. Mine and Jesus'.
The next day in Quaker worship when others shared their Easter experience, not all positive, I knew ministry was forming in my heart if not yet on my lips. I was struggling to articulate that, for me, Easter is about the Christ energy (or consciousness as some would call it) that emerged in the transformational resurrection. The energy that I know and is accessible to all. God exchanged his human self-son for a mystic energy found within each one of us. I am now ready to claim it.
So if claiming my Christ energy is the same as turning my life ever to Christ – and I think it is – then I am definitely in.
So, to answer your question, Stuart, things are going incredibly, miraculously well and I still believe in some small way, it IS your fault. You only spoke what was in my heart and for that I will be forever grateful.
• When has a plea for help from Spirit spoken to me?
• When have I made that plea?
• How did I know it was heard?
• What miracles has Spirit worked in my life?
• How do I know the Christ energy?
some Quaker guy
who lives in Maryland
near my sister
met him, so
how could he
know what was
in my heart?
and, ever since,
been the same
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