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Love given back

To celebrate life and beauty, to relieve suffering, to leave a small marker for one another on the path, that is what any of us on the spiritual journey can do. We are all beginners. We walk. We listen. We serve. Walking, that is all, and this is the nature of the Fire: that those who walk are treasures. We love them, not for what they’ve been or done; we love them simply because they are there. We love them because they are walking along the same winding trail worn smooth by many others — all of us walking toward a horizon where the Unknown waits. We love them because we know it is Love itself that holds the dead and the living together as One; Love that gathers up and holds hearts that have been broken, and in the breaking, opens them wide. We love them because we know that in some mysterious way, it is also our own love — broken, offered, and given back.

– Anne Hillman, Awakening the Energies of Love, p. 273

Pure darkness

Do you remember the night you floated backwards

down the dark river? The stars floated at your armpits,

pooled at the corners of your eyes.

Every night you float backwards down this river.

Friend, the way back is the way in

and the way in is the secret to cheating death.

The Buddha asks, Show me your face

before you were born.

At the edge of your river, there is a door.

When you enter,

the room is the black of a night wet with rain,

black as your closed mouth.

Friend, you know this place.

It is that most familiar place, hidden from you

except in dreams.

It is the underside of your childhood quilt

turned down for sleep, the sweet dark crease

in your white, just-laundered soul.

Why did you think that only whiteness was pure?

This place is the dark of one million light bulbs

all gone out at once, one million memories of light.

– Alexandra Martin, in Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, Vol. 20, No. 3, September 2014, p. 58

God in the unexpected

I find God in the unexpected,
the unexpected places
where I least expect to find
the presence of the Living God.

It is in these unlikely places
that the undeniable sense of
holy-overwhelming arrests my attention.

I find God in the unexpected,
the unexpected times
when I would rather
wallow around in the muddle of my mind
and rehash old, unresolved issues.

God pierces through the wall of my wailing
and shines glory on my being
so I can see a new path,
a new direction,
a new purpose.

I find God in the unexpected,
in people whose lives seem so fractured.
Yet they, like shards of a mirror,
reflect the image of God so clearly
and profoundly
that God becomes flesh again.

I find God in the unexpected,
those situations that seemed trivial:
a passing comment,
a line from a movie,
an image on a screen.
Serendipity turns spiritual in unguarded moments
because God chooses to speak to me
through the unexpected.

I find God in the unexpected.
Slowly, I’m beginning to learn
to expect God – in the unexpected.
– Kwasi Kena

- The Africana Worship Book, Year C

From pages 56-57 of The Africana Worship Book, Year C, edited by Valerie Bridgeman Davis and Safiyah Fosua. Copyright © 2008 by Discipleship Resources.

Life matters

Love asks for an open and spacious heart. It lies behind what is broken and what seems empty. It comes through a relinquishment of safety and a relinquishment of power. Love brings us to our knees to bring us Home. Then, yoked more firmly to Presence, we tap the simplicity of our inner, aboriginal, and holy selves. From this deep and tender connection with life, we understand:

It is not the preservation of our own life

that matters.

The Life matters — all of the life on this planet.

All of existence. For all Time.

– Anne Hillman, Awakening the Energies of Love, p. 331

Awareness

In bodyminds that are not dulled, awareness is acute. You’ve known acute awareness in the last moments of a basketball game when the score is tied and the whole crowd holds its breath awaiting the final shot. You’ve felt it in a hospital delivery room, seconds before an infant’s birth. It is heightened, focused, and alert.

– Anne Hillman, Awakening the Energies of Love, p. 125

Access life differently

Little by little, you bend. It is a courtship. With no idea of what such a courtship entails, you learn to court the energy. You turn from what you know to what you don’t know for guidance. You have to remind yourself to turn within and listen. You ask the Unknown repeatedly: What shall I do? How shall I respond?

– Anne Hillman, Awakening the Energies of Love, p. 242

No shield

It’s a notable step when the everyday racy world (the market place) ceases to jangle the nerves with such persistence, but is included, welcomed in. As Rumi says, What can you do? You have no shield.

– Colin Oliver, in Anne Hillman, Awakening the Energies of Love, p. 242

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