Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas comes early

Listen to this post:

Christmas has arrived early. Unannounced, in smallish ways and yet, it's really here in my heart forever.

These gifts are altering my attitude about generosity, abundance and money – greatly. Oddly enough, I think this wave of Spirit began four weeks ago EXACTLY at the Alamo. The floodgates opened and anything is possible. I am proof.

To backtrack a bit, I arrived at the Alamo on a chilly-for-San-Antonio morning to visit the Mission. Yes, though remembered for its bloody battle in American history and the stirrings of Texas' independence, it was first built as a Spanish Catholic Mission – a sacred spot. Many consider it hallowed ground for the violent sacrifices that occurred. I stumbled in as an official gathering was happening and was encouraged to stay. It was an invitation I'll never forget: the presentation of Segways to American veterans of Afghanistan now rendered immobile ... as in missing or non-functioning legs, mostly. At its conclusion, I found myself third in line shaking each soldier's hand, looking him/her square in the eye and saying thank you. Some hung on, most thanked me and a few found the direct contact unsettling. I was just the vessel: a peace-loving, anti-war, gun-shy Quaker thanking soldiers. 

That experience has opened me. Forever, I hope.

To new encounters, new leadings, new openings, new friends, new understanding, new compassion.

Is this the New Kingdom of which Jesus speaks? I want to hope that it is, Heaven on Earth. Early Quakers believed it was in the here and now.

So odd for me to use that language. I'm typically more inclusive, yet it is what's on my heart.

My heart is so full right now – with only good, about to crowd out the doubt and worry fed by an attachment to the secular world.*

Thursday, I went to an interview with a wonderful BIG arts organization to see if my at-risk kids' arts exploration, Artsy Fartsy , was a match. Normally, I would have over-prepped and stressed. I wasn't nervous. I did my homework the day before (because that's all the time I had) and waltzed in joyful to find the interviewer easy. It was just a conversation. One in which I was affirmed in this work and encouraged to apply for a grant next month. I even expressed my philosophy that this project is about depth, not breadth and he agreed that was the right path.

Wow, I'm still pinching myself. I may get some new programming funded. Of course, I am still battling the idea that I can't yet fund myself ... but I am learning to trust that will come, just as everything else has aligned.

Today, I felt compelled to return a long overdue call ... I am almost ashamed to admit it took me so long because it was a reminder that something awaited me. Just before that life-altering trip to San Antonio, someone I respect from our days together mending the local racial divide said she had a bunch of stuff left over from the local Obama headquarters for Artsy Fartsy (AF) if I wanted it. "Yes," I said sight unseen.

Well out of sight and mind, I had forgotten until her gentle reminder call. So, today, I toddled on over the hill to her wonderful home and came back loaded with six boxes of binder clips, paper clips, pens, markers, highlighters, flashlights, hand warmers, hand sanitizer, paper towels, napkins, plastic cups, paper plates, sticky tack, tacks, clipboards, paint sponges, post-its, staplers, staples, staple-removers, giant flip charts, balloons and reams of printer paper. Unpacking it all was better than Christmas morning. All the ideas of how AF can use these flowed through my head. Can't you just imagine using twine and binder clips to hang a show of the kids' work? Let them create shadows with the flashlights ... maybe give them a ghost tour of Milford Main? Load them with school supplies when they run low or can't afford them? Make them feel important writing on clip boards?

And then I came across a plain, unmarked box. I gingerly lifted the lid to discover a stash of manilla file folders. Exactly what I had needed to get all of my forms, lesson plans, agendas, meeting notes and locker assignments organized. I'd been too busy and, perhaps, too cheap to purchase a box. God really had taken care of my needs! The room, especially the car, looked like Staples had exploded.

I am so thrilled that one AF kid's family for whom I am collecting to purchase a computer, printer and, hopefully, internet, has an almost-eternal supply of paper!!!

Christmas has come early and I hope its spirit stays forever ... in my heart and being.

• What happens when I let Spirit in?
• How does it alter my thinking?
• My way of being in the world?
• How am I opened?
• How do I express that opening?

wafting in and out
on this wave

of Spirit

a seemingly

that claims

and I
learn to
claim it

the impossible

the daunting,

a new vision,
a new order

grows within
strength and

to believe

* I wrote this Friday, turning off the radio when I heard there was going to be bad news and not yet knowing what it was. I was better able to handle it Saturday and Sunday, with my faith community.

You can read more about my experience at the Alamo:

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