Friday, October 8, 2010

Bits of myself

I had a dream some years ago that is as vivid as the morning after. It was beautiful, full of color and love, yet also haunting and calling me, once again.

My mother's youngest sister, and more like a sister to me, and I were intimately chatt3ing in a small vestibule with an extraordinary stained-glass window. The only words I recall were her telling me: "You had better choose." We had been discussing who I thought Jesus was. Then, the windows parted, siren-like music almost too beautiful for human ears played, the atmosphere rolled into translucent waves of color and Jesus appeared as if coming for one of us. My aunt died a few years later, so I had interpreted the dream as Jesus coming for her.

This week I received a facebook message from someone with whom I had lost contact, admired and shared some rich spiritual experience, including a dream group. She said she had come across that dream and "was really struck, this time, by your aunt telling you you must 'choose.' I don't know whether you've chosen Jesus a long time ago, or whether this is still an open question in your life. If it is an open question, I had the sense that the choice was looming with more importance and urgency."

I was bowled over. By the fact she had even paid attention then and now, with her sense of timeliness. She did say it applied to her and, possibly, this was not my message.

It is I am certain, but not sure how exactly.

I didn't think this was an open question. Firstly, I think Jesus chose me as he chooses each of us. It is I who came to the invitation late .. well, I accepted as a child, then backed off until more recent years. I accepted on my terms: that Jesus means something deeply within me. That I feel his energy in my heart and have experienced his presence in worship and meditation. However, I can't literally reconcile the crucifixion and resurrection. Marcus Borg's book Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time helped me distinguish the mythical Jesus from the historical. And so I am left with what I call a mystical Jesus, a palpable energy.

I perceive him as a bridge between divinity and humanity. That he was a wise and wonderful person who truly loved God and is an example of the path to God within my faith tradition. And, yes, I flirt with the possibility of divine origin in my mind and heart, but I can live with the mystery of not really knowing. I DO know Jesus as my inner teacher in how to be with God.

This dream may be pushing me father, deeper. I wonder what I have chosen or not chosen if this question arises again. Have I chosen something else? Has something else chosen me? Is my choice too superficial? Do I understand my choice?

The question that scares me the most is "Has something else chosen me?" Something not love, light, beauty, color and music. Something dark, murky and destructive. Something that breeds self-doubt, guilt and punishment. Something that holds me so tightly all I can I feel is pain or paralysis. Something I can dispel with another choice. An intentional choice. One I have neglected to make as I had not noticed what crept in, stealing bits of myself.

I choose wholeness/holiness and the path of light in whatever language that can be translated.

• How do I view Jesus/God/Spirit?
• How has that changed over time?
• Is it time to re-examine that?
• If that choice calling me to something deeper, to what?
• How can Jesus/God/Spirit bring me wholeness?

I seem
to get lost
a lot

and you
find me

my awareness

is it
grips me

also without
my knowledge?

holds me?


  1. Your reflections and perceptions about Jesus speak so clearly to me. I've come to similar understandings, especially through reading a scholar such as Marcus Borg. I've had mystical experiences of Jesus similar to what you describe that nourish me so much more than the images I received growing up in the Lutheran church. I especially resonate with the idea of Jesus bridging humanity and divinity. I haven't talked about Jesus much with my liberal, unprogrammed Quaker friends - or with my evangelical Quaker friends for that matter! Thank you for providing a place for dialogue.

    I'm surprised by your question/fear that something else, something destructive, has chosen you. Though I don't know you well, I have such a strong sense of you as being so open and actively seeking divine guidance and love. For me, energy spent in fear that I'll make choices that aren't from that place of love is counter-productive; I wonder if succumbing to such fear is what feeds your self-doubt and guilt.

  2. Thank you for your compassionate insight, Iris. Your last comment is worth pause and reflection. I also wonder if it isn't just awareness sometimes. I know we share so much and sad that we talk about Jesus so infrequently ... especially among Friends. I am able to within my meeting, fortunately.