Saturday, March 4, 2017

"be still, be still, and know..."



"Be still, and know that I'm with you.
Be still, and know that I am here.
Be still, be still, and know..."

In the darkness, peace felt fragile. Every mistake I'd ever made seemed to parade itself across the backdrop of my closed eyes. Sleep evaded me.

I had been lying there for hours, rehashing decisions that seemed so much clearer in hindsight. I was so tired of being haunted by all the ways I could have done things differently: gone to the right -- instead of the left, paused for one minute longer, held my peace -- instead of speaking. I was exhausted from thinking and re-thinking.

I lay there awash in regret while the house breathed its winter sounds. I'd been praying -- without ceasing -- when a simple scripture from the Psalms -- and one that is central in this beautiful lyric from The Fray's, "Be Still." broke through.

Be still. And know. I am. It was the perfect reminder. I needed to get off the hamster wheel of human thinking. I needed to be still, and know. Not think, but know. I stilled, not just my thrashing, sheet-twined body, but my unsettled heart. I lay on my back, folded my hands, and took long deep breaths until I felt the sweetness of a quiet mind.

Then I asked myself: what do you know to be true? Not, what do you think is true? But what do you absolutely know to be true -- right now. Then I listened. Within moments it came. "I know I am." It was simple and pure. I know that I am conscious. I know that I am aware of loving my husband, my children. I know that I am capable of gratitude -- right now. I know that I still [always, persistently, nevertheless] love God, good. I know that I am able to be truthful, quiet, humble, loving.

It may not seem like a profound insight -- but in the dark, when the demons of regret are circling and thoughts rush around like wild creatures in an approaching storm -- it is like having the gentling hand of a divine Parent rest upon your heart.

I didn't fall asleep immediately that night. But the darkness changed from foreboding to comforting. I felt swaddled in the stillness like an infant -- it's closeness calming my heart and mind. Thinking gave way to knowing, and in that knowing there was a sweet peace.

In Scripture, John tell us:

"Yes shall know the Truth,
and the Truth shall make you free."
 

He didn't say, "ye shall think the truth, and the truth shall make you free," but know. The different between thinking and knowing is a profound one for me. There is a peace in knowing what I know vs. thinking about something.

I didn't have to do battle with those demons -- Mind, God, had asserted Its divine authority. Knowing, overwhelmed human thought-taking. Gratitude for what I absolutely knew to be true, swept away the cobwebs of speculation, regret, memory, and imagination. The final chapter of Mary Baker Eddy's textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, titled "Fruitage," includes testimonies of healing. C.B.G. of Hudson, Massachusetts shares this experience - and it so perfectly describes what I felt that night -- and continue to feel, each time thinking yields to knowing:


"I closed the book and with head bowed in prayer
I waited with longing intensity for some answer.
How long I waited I do not know, but suddenly,
like a wonderful burst of sunlight after a storm,
came clearly this thought,

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

I held my breath — deep into my hungering thought
sank the infinite meaning of that “I.”
All self-conceit, egotism, selfishness, everything
that constitutes the mortal “I,” sank abashed
out of sight. I trod, as it were, on holy ground.
Words are inadequate to convey the fulness of that
spiritual uplifting, but others who have had similar
experiences will understand. From that hour I have had
an intelligent consciousness of the ever-presence
of an infinite God who is only good."
 

For me, this knowing space, is a place of such profound peace that I never want to leave it. I find myself looking for ways to return to it throughout each day. I seek the quiet spaces, the covert places, where I can curl myself into the knowing -- the I am of being, the consciousness of Love alone as Life. It is the place of stillness -- nevertheless-ness. It is the place I love.

offered with Love,


Kate

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