Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To be held

All these months, six and to the day to be exact, I didn't get it. What the surrender meant. What God was asking of me on that Meetinghouse pew when she gently commanded me to lay down.

Today, I do! I just read a Richard Rohr meditation and it jumped out at me:

"Good powerlessness (because there is also a bad powerlessness) allows you to “fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). You stop holding yourself up, so you can be held. There, wonderfully, you are not in control and only God needs to be right. That is always the very special space of any positive powerlessness and vulnerability, but it is admittedly rare."

You stop holding yourself up, so you can be held. That's it. All God wanted was to hold me and for me to feel being held. Simple Truth.

This is the same message, in a different package, I recently received about laying my burdens at Jesus' feet and coming to Spirit naked. Boy, did I need a smack in the head. Fortunately, God is much more loving and gentler than that.

For years I have wondered what that thread was holding me up. I had suspected ego, will, darkness and all manner of things. It's mine to cut.

I wrote that passage Friday, elated at the revelation. Sunday, I stumbled into an old friend who came to visit my mother while I was there. She's a student of healing touch and promised to come each week to tend my mother. I delighted in watching her lovingly protect my mother's heart, re-stitching over the incision, sealing it and working her petite hands, mostly hovered over my mother, up and down, then ending with a repetition of:
"You are blessed. You are healed. You are loved."
As we departed in unison, she hesitated, then asked if I'd like the same. "YES!" I quickly replied. I savored every minute from the invocation of angels to the final blessing and grounding. Jean is quick to note that she's taking her time learning the healing-touch technique – she even shared her wonderful cheat sheets – because she doesn't yet have the ability to feel the energy she is moving and clearing. She's been told that the more she practices, the more surely it will come. I told her I call that faith and strong discipline. Whatever it is she does, she does it with such love and grace and as God's vessel, you know it is healing.
The French monastic community known for its prayer worship
After  a very long day away from my family Sunday, worshiping at my Quaker Meeting, visiting my mother and grocery shopping, I dashed home to discover my girls were decorating the tree at my parent's house, at the request of their grandfather. As I unloaded bags of food and instructed my agreeable husband on a soup recipe, I headed back out for a Taize´ service at the local Episcopal Church. I have wanted to attend for a number of years and two of my neighbors told me at last week's book club how much I would enjoy its charms. So I drifted over just as it was commencing.

Uncertain where it was being conducted in the mammoth church, a kind soul directed me. "They keep it pretty dark in there," she mentioned. Good, I thought, I can do dark and contemplative.

I entered the beautiful, but dimly-lit sanctuary behind a young woman in a beret, who seated herself at the piano. I sat toward the front in a lonely pew. I'd guess there were barely 20 people attending. Made me feel more at home, much like in my Meeting. I happened to look up and glance across the aisle to catch the eye of one of my beloved neighbors. I moved to sit with her. Margaret has always been such an inspiration to me. We hold similar beliefs. I felt honored to be with her, here, at this service even though I had not real idea what it would entail. 

The program was a good guide through the simple, repetitious song phrases, silent prayer, collective readings and Scripture. But what caught my eye was a single sentence: "Those who desire prayers for Healing of mind, body and spirit are invited to go to the pews in the rear corners to receive the laying on of hands and anointing at any point during the service."

So that's where Margaret was off to, not a bathroom break. I knew I'd go as well, though I waited for God's direction, staring into the image of Jesus colorfully cut into glass. I remember, years ago, sitting in the balcony watching one of my daughter's perform in a Bible school musical, witnessing a laser beam of light slice Jesus' heart and directly to me. I felt primed and found myself standing and going to the back. A generous woman, clutched for my hands and asked what I needed: prayer for my mother and me on all levels. She articulated an intricate, heartfelt prayer, then asked if I'd like to be anointed. Yes. I've never been formally anointed, I thought.

Two healings in one day, I mused. So much today has revolved around the heart. First, spending time with my mother as she recovers form heart surgery and then during this service and the Scripture that continues to haunt me:
Strengthen your hearts for the coming to he Lord is near. [James 5:8]
In the Lord, hold firm and take heart. Hope in the Lord [From Psalms 27]
Christ Jesus, broken hearts will be healed, the staring filled. [intercession]
Today, Tuesday I am experiencing a pain day and my heart is breaking for my mother, who is struggling with the grueling after-effects of surgery, anesthesia  and pain meds. I think we ALL could use God's healing and just to be held.

• When have I let God hold me?
• With what difficulty?
• When has another reminded me of God's love?
• How have I experienced healing?
• How do I seek/ask for healing?

what IS holding me up?
I've asked myself
for years

perhaps a better
question is,
how can I let
God hold me?

just hold me
and nothing more,
or less

Listen to this post:

No comments:

Post a Comment