Thursday, April 1, 2010

"I get on my knees..."

"...I get on my knees,
I get on my knees...
there I am before
the Love that
changes me.

See, I don't know how,
but there's power,
when I'm on my knees..."

- Nicole Mullen

I love Jaci Velasquez' recording of "On My Knees"...alot.  And it's a song that perfectly prefaces this experience, and the lens through which I see the work I love so much.

One recent evening I was multi-tasking in my typical at my ear - deep in conversation, pulling the last remnants of autumn's plantings out of window boxes, mixing in new soil, planting soft shades of periwinkle, white and the palest yellow pansies...when, in the middle of a particularly impassioned conversation about God's calling in our hearts, I tripped, fell, and torqued my ankle in a way that screamed, "uh-ohh, another six to eight weeks on crutches."

At first, I dismissed it quickly from a strictly spiritual standpoint of "I am not material, I am spiritual," with all the metaphysical reasoning I know to be consistent with this form of treatment.

Nothing changed...but,
more pain, swelling, immobility...and pain, did I mention pain?

And as my ankle got larger and larger, and getting from here to there became less possible, I was finally ready to "stop!!!"...and rethink my standpoint (no pun intended) on the entire experience.

Okay, exhale deeply..."ohhmmm"  Hmmm...I was gardening and talking on the phone.  My friend,
Dick Davenport, and I had been talking about...what? Oh, yes, our salvation-based ministries of scientific Christianity, which, we discussed,  includes scientific, prayer-based physical healing.  But we were clear that salvation, the healing of sin, or the feeling of being separated from God  -  and what springs from that feeling of separation...vulnerability, pain, heartache, disease, war, chaos...came first.

Mary Baker Eddy defines the "purpose" of what it is that we both practice, Christian Science, as, "to reinstate primitive Christianity,
and its lost element of healing."  It has become clear to me, why she places primitive Christianity...behaviors consistent with Christ: non-judgment, honestly, compassion, meekness, patience, hope, temperance...first.  Healing always follows. 

I couldn't help but remember the gospel accounts of Jesus' healing record.   Crippling illnesses, pain, suffering, torment, blindness were lifted from humanity with the blessing, "thy sins are forgiven thee, go in peace."

Sins forgiven...peace. 

So right there, in the midst of darkness and discomfort, I found myself aching for spiritual confirmation and direction. I wasn't just looking for validation of my own "theory," that healing followed salvation, I wanted the Truth. And since kneeling works for me...bringing humility into laser-like focus as I pray...I got on my knees by the side of my bed like a little child listening for her divine Parent's voice.

"Father, what is it that I need to see and feel tonight?  What is your salvation message for me right here, right now?" 

And in the silence His message came, "If your ministry is all about staying on your knees, what do you need an ankle for right now?"

It made me smile.  It was true.  Right then and there, I had everything I needed.  I had my knees, and they were perfectly formed and suited for the work at hand...washing feet, praying, looking up from this humble posture into the hearts and faces of His, God's beloved children.  So I stayed there.  Mentally washing feet, praying, serving...quite some time, and my knees served me, as I served God, perfectly.

At one point, the phone rang and I got up to answer it.  And since I needed my ankle to do take a call in the middle of the night from someone in, my ankle, stepped up to the demand.  It was perfectly formed and suited to that moment's need.

I have not experienced one second of vulnerability, discomfort, or weakness in that ankle since.

But this moment of divine grace was so much bigger than a "fixed" ankle.  It was, in and of itself, all about salvation.

Salvation, salvage work, reclaiming what is essential, fundamental, useful from what the world would be more than happy to send to the dump, bury in the landfill of broken humanity.  I know a little bit about salvage work.  One of my grandpas was in the salvage business.  He would take what others thought was pure "junk" and he'd break it down into it basic elements: copper wire, lead piping, corrugated tin...and re-purpose it in a way that not only had value, but served humanity...over and over again...out of purifying "strange fires" and into beautiful, functional  "fresh forms."   Nothing new...just a new view of what was always there.

In essence, this is an element of my work too.  That conversation with my friend, Dick, was not just something to have on the fly, and then forget was something God wanted me to stop long enough to really hear.  It was important enough for Him to stop me in my tracks, so that His voice didn't just become the soundtrack for my gardening.

No chance this time!  I am absolutely certain of His message from the other night.  His primary purpose in my ministry...primitive Christianity...freedom from any belief that we have an identity, or ego, that separates us from God...or each other.  This is my purpose as a Christian Science practitioner...salvation.  Or as Mary Baker Eddy encourages me,

"The emphatic purpose of Christian Science
is the healing of sin..."

  The rest, the lost element of healing...realized wholeness...she promises us,
will follow, "as naturally and necessarily as darkness gives place to light, and sin to reformation." We are never choosing between salvation and healing...for me, it's simply about putting first things...first.

Here are the rest of the lyrics to this song...

"There are days,
when I feel
the best of me
is ready to begin.

There are days,
when I feel,
I'm letting go,
and soaring on the wind.

But I've learned
in laughter or in pain,
how to survive:

I get on my knees,
I get on my knees.
There I am before
the love that
changes me.

See, I don't know how,
but there's power
when I'm on my knees.

I can be
in a crowd,
or by myself,
or almost anywhere.

When I feel,
there's a need,
to talk with God.
He is Emmanuel.
When I close my eyes,
no darkness there,
there's only light.

I get on my knees,
I get on my knees.
There I am before
the Love that
changes me.

See, I don't know how,
but there's power
when I'm on my knees."

from this posture of salvation...this "summit" of devout consecration...the world looks beautiful...cast in a heavenly light.

with Love,

Kate Robertson, CS

I'm also including here, an inerview with Sara Groves, one of my favorite recording artists on "
relational theology," which so beautifully describes why my heart resonates with the heart of her music...and her message.

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