Monday, January 9, 2012

"Moving mountains within..."

"Do you want to breathe again,
love again, live again...

I was sitting in the office recently, praying for guidance in my prayers, when I received the following note/comment from a reader, and it was just the reminder I needed. Thank you dear friend.

"This post [from 2007] came to my thought today as I was praying and thinking about something from my past.

I love what you shared at the end of your blog,

"But this time it was as if the next line was illumined by a spotlight: “And when ye stand praying, forgive..”

I realized that for so long I wanted someone to pay for what had happened to me when I was little, I guess I felt like they should suffer. I wanted someone else to feel bad and sorry. I thought this would make me feel better.

I don't feel that way anymore I have realized that the only way to peace and healing is through forgiveness, forgiving myself and others. Learning to forgive is what is moving the mountains in my heart. I am able to see this so clearly now.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience in your life. It has helped me and provided me with inspiration. xoxo"

Dear Friend:
Thank you for sharing your is the original post you referenced:

"Until you moved the one in me..."

“I never thought
that mountains could be moved
That they could be cast into the sea

I never realized your words
Were Oh so true
Until you moved the one in me.”

- Reed Hess

I haven’t heard these lyrics in over twenty years, but I can still remember how I felt that morning, in the early 1980s, when I tiptoed down the stairs of our basement recording studio as singer/songwriter Reed Hess was laying down vocal tracks from behind the glass window where he sat, eyes closed, alone in front of the piano. 

I can remember the scruffy burnt orange and brown sculptured-loop carpeting with raw edges that covered the narrow stairs leading down to the control room.  I can remember exactly how it felt to run my fingertips along the front edge of that scratchy step, halfway down the stairs where I'd been stopped in my tracks by Reed’s rich voice practically praying those words into the microphone, and burning them onto my heart.

To really know that mountains could be moved.  That was what I wanted.  And Reed had found the words to express my deepest hopes. I can still hear the timbre of his voice, singing what I had been praying each day for years...that decades of fear and despair in me could be dissolved. That mountains could be moved.

I believed in God.  I trusted that He loved me and that He had the power to heal sickness, raise the dead, and transform the sinner.  But I didn’t truly really know if He could move the mountains (and there was a range of them) in my heart. 

Yes, I was deeply grateful for every bit of progress in my spiritual excavation work, since returning to the study and practice of Christian Science.  I had absorbed the universal truths it explained, and had discovered how practical its application was in my life.  I had taken an advanced course in how to heal spiritually, and had left a long career in education to devote my life to helping others as a Christian Science practitioner.  I had experienced and witnessed healings of urgent, chronic, heredity-based and acute physical, emotional, financial, and relationship challenges.  I was absolutely confident in God’s supreme power…"as in heaven, so on earth." 

I was an active member of my church and I was dedicated to this Bible-based approach to living.  I shared it with anyone, and everyone, I met.  Yes, I was sure, confident, certain of God’s love for everyone...but me.  I had seen so many lies about man’s perfection dissolve, when placed under the light of God’s love for others…but could not imagine that it would ever really get at the deep dark stuff in my life.  Other people’s problems
just weren’t true…that was easy for me to see.  But I was fully aware…up close and personal….of all my misdeeds and I knew that they had actually taken place, and I felt that my memory of them was pretty accurate.  And that accurate recall was hard to swallow.  In almost every instance, it was hard to forgive...and especially hard to forget.   I had made many mistakes and could see how reasonable it was that my mountains of guilt and self-doubt were not only justified….but there to stay.

When I heard Reed’s voice pour out of the speakers in the control room, I wanted to burst right through that door, and ask him what it actually felt like when God moved his mountains.  But I was patient, and sat on the step waiting for him to emerge from that dark cocoon of silence.  And when he did, I was there waiting. I asked him, "What does it feel like?" 

“Oh,” he said with a sigh, "it feels just like it sounds…like a mountain has been lifted from your soul…”

“But what do I have to do?” I pleaded. 

I felt like I was in an old Kung Fu episode where “Grasshopper” returns in hazy memory to a moment with his Master. They are alone in soft light and seen through a filtered lens.  The child version of the David Carradine character waits for the Master to share a profound, life-saving wisdom.

“Well”, Reed replied, with eyes that were kinder than I thought I deserved, “what did Jesus say?” 

“Oh my goodness!” I thought.  “Is this some kind of born-again brush off?  Does this look like a Christian rally with WWJD (what would Jesus do?) buttons and bumper stickers being passed out like Koolaid at Jonestown?  No, this was a deeply wounded person asking for direction, humiliating herself in front of one of her husband’s clients, and a good friend.” 

What did Jesus say?  Please, I was very familiar with Jesus’ statement to his disciples.  I didn’t even have to look it up.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, "Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea," and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass he shall have whatsoever he saith. 

Therefore I say unto you, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

I politely thanked him and filed his response away….far away.  Once again I was sure I  had misread something that had appeared to me to be God’s brilliant light of inspiration. 

I continued for years to pray.  The looming burden of my mountains became less daunting in the context of a growing sense of "rightness" I was beginning to feel about myself, and my place in the world…especially the spiritual community I served.  I gave of myself, and I got approval, admiration and respect.  My giving was genuine, the acceptance was authentic.  This went on for many years as I gave more generously, served more tirelessly and got more…acceptance, respect, approval.  My mountains, however, had not been removed…instead, my view of them had become more distorted while I squinted my eyes in the bright light of admiration. 

But, quite often that verse from Reed’s song would wash over my heart, or wander through my thoughts like a babbling brook discovered as a refreshing surprise on a long hike.  I’d drink from it and then pick up my heavy pack again, and keep going. But I never asked myself why a song that I had only heard briefly was still running through my thoughts with perfect clarity….every word remembered, every note felt, the singer’s voice as fresh and full in recall as it was the first time I heard it.  I didn’t spend much time asking "why" because I was a busy wife, mother, church member, healer, community advocate…so I must be alright….right?

All this came crashing down around me the first time I did something that really stripped me of the approval I'd come to need like a drug. I felt as if, once again, I was that young woman (this time not so young) sitting on those scratchy orange and brown steps burdened by my own sorrows and mistakes…hungry for freedom from depression and self-doubt.  The mountains in me were looming, I felt the weight of their menacing presence.

And, again, Reed’s song came to me:

“I never thought
that mountains could be moved...
that they could be cast into the sea.

I never realized your words
were, Oh, so true
until you moved the one in me.
Until you moved the one in me...”

These words returned over and over until one dark night...when the mountains of regret and sorrow sat so heavily on my heart that I didn’t think I could breathe...I also remembered his answer to my question years earlier, “What do I need to do?" This was a conversation that I'd stored far, far away from immediate thought. But, “What did Jesus say?” was echoing through time and space.  I surrendered to Reed’s response and decided to actually see what, I thought I already knew,  Jesus had said.  I got up from bed and went to the Bible sitting on my desk and opened it to Mark:

“And Jesus, answering, saith unto them, "Have faith in God.

For verily I say unto you: that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, 'Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea," and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 

Therefore I say unto you, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

But this time, it was as if the next line was illumined by a spotlight:

“And when ye stand praying, forgive..”

I think I can now tell you, for myself, what it feels like to have a mountain removed and cast into the sea. 

"I never realized your words
Were Oh so true
Until you moved the one in me…"

Thanks Reed…


Since I don't have access to an online accessible recording of Reed Hess' "The One in Me," here is a link to Sara Renner's website where, if you scroll down the index of songs on the left margin, you can click on a sample of her song "Forgive." Sara has also given me permission to have "Forgive" as one of the three songs that keynote my website...and I am so deeply grateful. If you go to the music player in the bottom left of the homepage, "Forgive" is the third song (after Michelle Armstrong's "Unfallen" and Mindy Jostyn's "In His Eyes") that will automatically start playing when the home page opens. If you would like to go straight to Sara's song, you can advance the player to the 7:56 minute marker. Otherwise, enjoy the gift of these healing songs from three extraordinary spiritual singer/songwriters.


  1. How do you forgive someone when the pain is so great that you don't know what to do with it anymore? How do you just let go?

  2. Dear Cordelia...I don't know the depths of what you (or anyone) are facing...we each feel the weight of it all differently...and I can't imagine telling you that "I know"...but I can tell you that it has been helpful to me, when wrestling with feeling like I have been wronged, to return to Jesus' plea from the cross, "Father forgive them..."

    This seems to give me great peace. That whatever "wrong" someone (including myself) has "done" is primarily between them (or me) and God...and I can pray that the way towards falling into the Father's forgiving arms is clear.

    Here are some other posts on "forgiveness"...perhaps one of them will be helpful. And if you ever want to contact information is on my profile. with Love, k.

  3. Anonymous10:34 AM

    Thank you for reminding me of all I have overcome and learned the past few years. It is easy to forget... I am so grateful.