Holy Innocents

child

Tomorrow I will be spending the day in prayer for you…reclaiming this day as:  Holy Innocents Day.

You were conceived, wombed, pushed into the Seen…one-d with your mama…you, her…she, you.  You felt her feelings, you reacted to your environment as she reacted.  If she thought the sky was green, you thought the sky was green.  When angry eyes projected pain onto you, you became pain.  When eyes didn’t look at you, you were unseen.  When ears didn’t hear you, you became silent.

For eighteen months there is no separation between you and your mama.

There was no you, from your point of view…only you-mama.  You were entirely mirrored in your mama’s eyes…what her eyes told you about yourself, you believed and became.  You didn’t see, hear or think about life…you experienced life in your body.  You had no words, no understanding of life, of you, of mama.*

Hell is the deep darkness within this unified space of no language, no understanding.  Eyes lying, responses deceiving, creating un-you, in the likeness and image of your wounded mama…a face turned away in pain:  Shame, Fear, Rejection, Guilt, Blame, Anxiety.

You alone…dying a thousand deaths each moment your mama wasn’t with you face-to-face…wasn’t engage with you, wasn’t nurturing, wasn’t soothing, wasn’t nourishing…enough.

Hell is this unsafe, alone place…where mama is not…you’re on your own.  Life is a house of terror…living is all about survival.

In this place you will find your True Mama, your Amma (if you will but look deeply through)…indeed She is The Place of unity,

bonding,

causing you to attach,

enlightening your conscious,

interpreting and explaining,

speaking Word into your voice,

Eye to eye,

Face to face…

creating through right mirroring, healing your wounds, the wounds of your mama, engaged, nurturing, soothing, nourishing.

More than Enough.

The Holy Spirit, Amma, is the Womb you were conceived in…She is one-d with you…gently carrying you into The Seen.

Be still…feel Her in your body.

Breathe…with open eyes to see…Love gazing into you; you are mirrored in Amma’s Eyes:  Beauty, Truth, Joy…for you, with you, over you.

You have never been, will never be, separated from Amma.  This place of beginnings is Amma, safe…a place to explore, quest, discover, live…

Together…One.

Today, this day, may you find a picture of yourself during your first year.

Tomorrow, all day, may you gaze into the face of you

A holy innocent

Seeing this little one

As Amma sees you…

Speaking kind, gentle words of blessing

Affirming you, accepting you

Receiving True Mothering

From your Amma.

As I pray for you to see Amma’s Face.  So be it.

 

*From Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr

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Resurrection Life

Yesterday, my man and I drove deep into the back country of Arkansas.  We went to be with family…gathering with those we know well and those we haven’t seen since last year.  We met at an old cemetery…ended up eating and fellowshiping around tables at a park…under a shelter, with rain pouring down.

Yesterday you probably went to church…to be with family…gathering with those you know well and those you only see from one Sunday to the next.  You ate the Body of Christ and fellowshiped around The Table…in a sanctuary, with the Spirit pouring down upon you.

We went to a place of death…needing to see the empty tomb. Heavy fog moved into the valleys…the LORD descended in a cloud…passed before us and proclaimed His Name.   The winding dirt road led to a hill…stones engraved with names and dates were scattered throughout the grassy, enclosed area.  But the dead were not there.  They had risen…just as He did…just as He said.

Jesus’ promise not to leave us as orphans…never to leave us…to send His Spirit to comfort, guide, and remind us of True Reality was remembered and re-lived yesterday.  We all, you and I, have walked out of the grave in Him…and are now stumbling our way through this thing called Resurrection Life.

Yesterday we left the tomb and went to experience Resurrection Life.   What does Resurrection Life look like?  Family gathered around food…sharing, eating, together, in the Rain.  What does Resurrection Life look like?  A teeny tiny little girl dancing in the Rain, her mouth opened to drink the Sweet Heavenly Flow…fully alive and saturated with His Abundant Love.  What does Resurrection Life look like?  A mama deer suckling her newborn fawn on the wet-green wooded area along a back-country road.  What does Resurrection Life look like?  Not knowing where you’re going but suddenly discovering you are there, welcomed and embraced, given shelter from the storm, and handed a lovely three-week old baby boy named Job.

May each of us enter into this New Life with great expectancy…with eyes wide-open with wonder…dancing in the Rain of His Abundant Blessings…as we are quietly nurtured by Love.

And for those of us who feel lost…

may you suddenly discover you are Home…welcomed and embraced.

The Meaning of Life

For some reason, as I wait with you in this present moment, I have this picture of a doctor’s waiting room.  And because I would like to share my ponderings on the meaning of life…specifically what your life means…I am choosing to move out of a place that involves putting band-aids on…treating symptoms…and trying to fix you as if you were some kind of system that has broken down.

As I leave this place, I am replacing the defibrillator. Papa and I have been talking about ‘flat-lining.’

Last year about this time, I received a phone call from a child I love…her mom had been rushed into the hospital, was on life-support til her family could get there…didn’t think she’d last the week.  As I spoke:  ‘He who dwells in the shadow of the most High…’ over the dying mother, her heart beat slowed.  When I stopped, her heart beat picked up its rhythm.  I invited her kids to hold her hands…and we cried our way through the Psalm.  ‘He shall satisfy her with long life.’  And her heart flat-lined.

It seems to me that when our souls feel flat-lined…when our internal ‘beat’ has become silent…and our rhythm has stopped…we are left with our brains.  And, doesn’t it just feel easier to live in our heads than out of the depths of our hearts? To use religious techniques and rules in an effort to structure our inner life?

I could artificially ‘jump-start’ my soul again…give myself a pep talk…find something religious to do…set some goals.  But really…why bother?  For living in this start-and-stop, halting, lurching way is exhausting and certainly not satisfying.

So…I’ve replaced the defibrillator. And we’ll simply sit together…me next to you, you next to me…as we hold our soul’s hands…and I’m going to sing.  And while I’m singing over you, I hope you will ask Papa why your soul is dying…why it’s so scary to live from your heart…and what you are believing that is literally killing your soul.

Then I’m going to stop singing…and let you hear your heart start beating again…feel your passion and longings and desires awaken.

And now as the Spirit breathes Life into you…the eyes of your soul slowly open.

Waiting for Judas

There is an old legend that after his death Judas found himself at the bottom of a deep and slimy pit. For thousands of years he wept his repentance, and when the tears were finally spent he looked up and saw way, way up a tiny glimmer of light. After he had contemplated it for another thousand years or so, he began to climb up towards it. The walls of the pit were dank and slimy, and he kept slipping back down. Finally, after great effort, he neared the top, and then he slipped and fell all the way back down. It took him many years to recover, all the time weeping bitter tears of grief and repentance, and then he started to climb up again. After many more falls and efforts and failures he reached the top and dragged himself into an Upper Room with twelve people seated around a table. “We’ve been waiting for you, Judas,” Jesus said. “We couldn’t begin till you came.”

Ripping out the Rugs in the Waiting Room

In the early 2000s, I moved four times in five years.  Vacuum cleaners moved with me…to clean the carpets, to get clogged up, to be fixed, to die, to be replaced.  In each home, there were always my ‘happy’ areas…where there was no carpet.  As we looked for a home in South Carolina, my man asked me what I wanted in a house:  no stairs, a window over the sink…and no carpet.  Tho’ I have stairs and a lovely window over the sink, the vacuum cleaner and I parted ways thirteen years ago…making this entire home a ‘happy’ place.

Carpet:  the place where vomit, pee, dog poop, and food land, dwell, and get ground in…bringing a lovely earthy smell to the entire room.

Papa and I were talking about rugs this morning.  As in:  sweeping things under the rug that we don’t want to deal with…that we want to pretend didn’t happen or aren’t real…that we want to hide from others.  And just like all the foul crud enmeshed in the carpet fibers, the junk we sweep under the rug becomes putrid and toxic…oozing fear, dread and anxiety into our souls.  This is then ‘dumped’ like dog poop onto the souls of others.

Charles de Foucauld prayed: ‘Lord Jesus, I believe that you want to act through me, arrange it so that I am transparent, deliver me from all opacity so that I can be a reflection of you, so that you can be seen through my life.’

I prayed this over each and every one of you who are coming into this Waiting Room that the rugs we hold so dear…scrubbing stains on our hands and knees and planning the annual Stanley Carpet visit to deep clean the surface…the rugs in our souls…may be gently removed by the Spirit.

May the collective breaths of our souls that we have been holding lest anyone should find out what is under our rugs be released…and a deep Spirit-breath drawn in.  May we push up our sleeves and roll up the dingy, icky carpets of our souls (add-ons, not part of our original design!)…and toss them into the dumpster.

And may we dance on the wooden, nail-scarred, blood-stained floors of the Holy of Holies…where you and I are eagerly awaiting the revelation of Christ!

Patience for the Patients in the Waiting Room

 

‘He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.’  (Psalm 91:4)

A waiting room story.  One of the five children is sick.  We head to the doctor’s…during naptime.  A sign on the wall says, ‘wet paint.’  Four of the five ask the question, ‘really?’  Four of the five have smudges of purple paint on their hands by the time the doctor calls us. And I’m mumbling, ‘Patience, Patience,’ through clenched teeth.

Another waiting room story.  I zip into a craft store, quickly get my items, and head to check out.  The cashier rings up several items wrong and, moving very slowly, totals the purchase without scanning all the items.  I’m moving into deep breathing and asking Jesus to be my Patience.  His response, ‘She doesn’t need Patience, she needs to know she is loved.’  His words awoke my soul…to speak forth truth to her.

Tales of the Restoration* must be stories of how we are being restored to our original design…how, once restored, we are engaged with Papa in restoring all of creation.   And though it would seem that waiting and patience are going to be woven into these stories, I wasn’t real thrilled about that…until I moved a bit and studied waiting and patience from a different angle.

To wait, in Hebrew, means ‘to bind together by braiding, to hope, to expect eagerly, and to be gathered together.’  Patience, in the Greek, means ‘to protect or keep by covering, to cover over with silence the errors and faults of others, by covering to keep off something which threatens, to support what is placed upon a thing.’

What if in the waiting, is the one-ing…of you and I?  What if in the waiting, is where we become consciously aware of our one-ness with the Triune-God?  And what if Patience is all about my snuggling up under Papa’s Wings safe and secure that He remembers my sins no more…that He is more than able to bear up and support the heaviest burden in my life?

Then in this place of Patience, I am free to invite even my enemies into the Waiting Room…eagerly expecting the Spirit to one us.

This morning I had a long-time enemy…one who had deceived me and misrepresented Papa to me.  As I walked, the words: ‘You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies’ floated to the surface.  Covered by Papa’s Wings, I invited my enemy to sit at The Banqueting Table…to experience our Beloved firsthand…as I sat in silence…waiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I have taken this phrase from the title of a trilogy by the Mains…a super-cool trilogy, I might add!

The Waiting Room

“After His suffering, Jesus presented Himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.  On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1)

Papa’s invited us into another Upper Room, you and I…to remember and encounter and heart-know this God who wills that we be indwelt by…and one-d with… the Fullness of the Godhead:  Father, Son, and Spirit.  Another 40 days together as we meet in the Upper Room with the disciples and await the Great Gift of the Spirit.

The Upper Room sounds so romantic and exciting, doesn’t it?  The disciples hiding out, hoping yet confused, looking and stumbling in this new life, wondering when and where their God would pop up next.  And all the while…waiting.

Waiting.  Again.

Perhaps the hardest part of life is in the waiting.  How many times we have dared to hope, only to be disappointed.  How many times do we expect and anticipate and long for…only to have our dreams and desires seemingly crushed.  Fathers waiting on dusty roads for their sons to return.  Mothers waiting for their wombs to be full after a loss.  Children waiting for a dad to visit…for a mom to engage with their lonely souls.

Last night I stopped here…sensing Papa telling me to wait.

This morning as I drove down the driveway, I saw a male towhee flapping against a window at the back of the garage.  A female hopped back and forth near the entrance, obviously in great distress.  I parked outside the garage and quietly ‘herded’ the male from the back to the front.  It was then that I saw two little towhees on the welcome mat, our gray cat guarding them.  One was dead, but the other, had his mouth opened wide, waiting to be fed.

Once the cat was inside and the unmoving body carefully wrapped up, my man and I carried the mat to a spot closer to our woods.  Both mom and dad flew down by the porch and searched and called for their lost ones.  We moved the mat into the center of the driveway…and waited.  Mom flew with food…dad flew to the porch, still searching, then over to protect his family.  First one, then the other beckoned their little one to follow them.  But he didn’t have the strength; he was so, so young.  And they needed to travel a long, long way (for one so little).

We watched the mom and dad come to their baby…hop back several feet…forward and backward.  And when the baby lost its balance and was unable to get up…the dad came close and steadied it.   After some time, I carefully picked the little guy up and walked several feet away, where the mom had been, and set him down.  I backed up…and waited.  She hopped several more feet away, closer to the woods.  I picked the little guy up and followed her, setting him down…then backing up and waiting.  Three times I moved him…into the woods…onto some dry leaves.  And we waited.

Joy of joys!  The mom and dad quickly came and took over the care of him.

We then got to wondering about the dad’s behavior on the porch.  My woman had suggested there might be more.  Bending over, I saw another little guy in the far corner, under the bench.  I gathered him up and carried him to the place in the woods with his sibling.  After much waiting, we checked on them.  The babies had been moved back to the nesting area, and both parents were diligently keeping an eye on them.  I still have much to ponder, but this adventure with my man has stirred my heart.

So…welcome to The Waiting Room.  A place for all to wait for glorious encounters with the Spirit…even as we experience our Papa in the everyday happenings of Kingdom Life.  And I’ll happily share tales of the Restoration…

As we wait.