"Joan, things between us are sooooo okay. You spoke my heart yesterday in worship. I was in a very deep and good place." She was grateful for the response and I was glad she had called.
I journaled before settling into worship about deep listening, what my recent skin-to-skin encounter with a snake had meant, putting my pen down after ending with "Where does healing lie?"
Our Quaker minister's brief message centered on vocal ministry in worship, how to know if we are being called to speak and when it's ego and not God. She finished with a quote from a departed, but well-known and loved Quaker whom I happened to meet several times. William Taber had written about those that don't have vocal ministry, yet hold the sacred silence for others. I remember being struck to the core when I first read that. I was taken aback again and sank into worship thanks to others faithfully holding the space. Even two cellphone outbursts didn't stir me.
|Fragment/pastel on paper|
God and I were playing a game that soon became a tug of war. I knew that she wanted my heart and I was trying to give it to her. She indicated my offering wasn't enough and I understood I was hanging on to some piece. I could't identify or articulate what that piece was.
Until Julie stood up, saying she likes to talk anywhere but here because she doesn't have her comfortable bullet points and often shows emotion. But her heart raced and her hands sweated and she knew she had a message. She mentioned being taught that she wasn't enough, but through the silent worship was learning she IS worthy.
Ding-Ding-Ding the bells went off in my entire being. I wasn't giving God all of my heart, only what I considered the good, unwounded part. She wanted the entire kit-and-kaboddle. I wasn't offering her the wounded piece because I felt it/I wasn't worthy. I had held back.
Then Joan chimed in after a spate of silence to say she was feeling so much love that she often pushes away. I suspect for the same reason Julie gave.
Just then, I felt Spirit remove a very deep splinter even I hadn't known was lodged in my heart. Through 15 years of Quaker worship and prayer I believed the sensation in my heart was longing for God when it really was heartache, the woundedness of a fragmented heart. That pain vanished, leaving a reverberating peace throughout my body, mind and soul. God pried that division right out of me; it had felt like major surgery as hard as I was latching on. Without the encouraging words two courageous women spoke, I would not have let go nor understood the act of surrender.
For years, I have been intrigued by the words I am. They mystify me and resonate beyond any verbal or intellectual meaning. Yesterday, I was able to add one more piece to the phrase. It was something Julie said: I am worthy.
As for the snake, I think she was inching me toward transformation and healing, signaling awareness and openness. Without that slimy interlude, I would not have been contemplating the source of healing and my specific healing.
• What speaks to me in worship?
• What helps me slip down into the sacredness?
• When have another's words touched my condition?
• How have I experienced God speaking through another?
• How do I feel that I am worthy?
by God's grace,
I managed to
arrive a few minutes
head and heart
find that sweet
that pocket in the
back of my heart
the back door
I could not
God so wanted
to touch with
the one I
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