Wednesday, January 8, 2020

"I and my Father -- are one..."

"i know,
i know,
i am, i am;

i and my Father,
are one..."

Sometimes it starts with a statement of Truth - and then I go looking for the song that I sense must be out there. Today's post happened that way. I woke up with Jesus' declaration "I and my Father are one," filling my heart. And then, Kathy Sarada's, "I am,"  found me. I'd never heard her voice before -- I will not forget it.

The world seems so divided. But it isn't. Don't be fooled. The "friend" who posted a meme that hurts your soul, is as much you, as she is herself. The hatred that fills the news each night is begging for you to give it an identity -- him, her, them, theirs -- but the only identity available is your brother or sister in Christ. Refuse to name it. Refuse to claim it.

For the last few years, one word has tried to take up residence in my heart. That word is, "idiot." It is not a word that I could ever remember saying aloud, or silently to myself -- about anyone. It has always been an offensive word to me. And yet, it has hissed like a snake almost every day for months.

When it first started, I wasn't as alert to its tactics as I should have been. It seemed justified. It seemed like the only outlet I had for venting my sorrow and frustration. It had a name. It had a face. It had a history of reasons for letting that word live. But it wasn't living in "that person," it was taking up residence in my heart. And it was an ugly tenant.

Evicting it was not as easy as you may think it should have been.  It was there banging on the pipes when I woke up each morning.  And it tried to be the last one to turn off the lights at the end of the day.  But I have been vigilant.

Once I realized that my mental or audible voicing of the word "idiot," -- to vent sadness and frustration -- was not stinking up anyone else's "home" -- only mine, I was more alert to its disguises as it approached my door. It would often come in the mask of alertness.  As if I needed to be alert to how ugly the world had become.  But I didn't need to be alert to the stench of cruelty.  That was the lie. What I really needed to be aware of, was beauty, kindness, holiness, honesty. Then anything unlike a beautiful thought, was clearly inadmissible.  And I could start with the word, "idiot." What an ugly word.

To "voice" that word -- silently, or audibly -- was my admission that I was detached from Truth.  To even think it about someone else, was to be detached from another being -- one that I shared a consciousness of our collective humanity with.  It was to separate myself from humanity itself, and thus, to feel detached from my own humanity. And it always felt like I was flailing in space without a tether.

My tethering, which was only, always, ever to God, was found in claiming that "I and my Father were one." This meant that I needed to see every being as an extension of my own family. To feel oneness with God was to feel oneness with those I had cruelly dismissed as "idiots." I am embarrassed to even type that sentence. But to completely and irrevocably evict this word from my house -- my "consciousness of Love," -- I must name it, and claim it, as the mental trespasser it is.

To be one with my Father is to be one with His heart -- to love what, and who, He loves. Impartially, universally, unconditionally. It is to know "grace" -- the unearned and unmerited favor of God.  This is where Christian Science has been a haven of rest for my weary soul. I don't have to figure out who to love. I don't have to determine what is lovable. Christian Science has taught me that love isn't a sorting hat, it is a lens through which everyone and everything is seen in its true nature.

I keep coming back to the story of the Prodigal Son and how often I have sorted myself - or others - either into the younger son's "I am a screw up, but I am so humbly grateful for Your mercy" camp, or the older son's "what about me -- I've done everything right - where's my party" camp. When who I really needed to identify myself with -- the Father.

To be one with the Father -- to feel the beating of His heart -- is to be unconditionally loving.  To love both of your sons with all that you have in your heart. To be waiting for the younger to come home to receive his inheritance, and to be sitting with your lap piled high, just waiting for the older son to realize that "all that you have is already his" and always has been. And to remind him that it is his own brother that had come home.

No matter how his younger brother had behaved, that boy was still his own Father's loved son. It didn't matter how justified the older brother felt by his younger brother's choices. Nothing could deprive him of his own expression of grace. He had every right to know himself as a faithful son -- standing at his Father's side, celebrating the return of a beloved member of His family.

So, although I could write about the healing of this crack in my heart's door all day, suffice it to say that the only five letter word - that starts with an "i" -- I am now admitting into my heart is, "image." There is only the image of God. The image and likeness of Love.  Anyone else doesn't belong here.

Everyday, I still have to ask myself, "What is the image you are admitting? What are you image-ining about your Father's son or daughter? What image is taking up residence in your heart?" And if that other "i" word is banging around, I can't afford the luxury of enjoying its rental income -- and I can't hesitate in serving an immediate eviction notice.

I will leave this here. We are one. We cannot be fooled by the lie that man -- any man -- is a liar. The lie and the liar are one -- that is because, the only lie is, that there is a liar to call ugly names. Man has only one name.  He is the image of Truth. Period.

offered with Love,


postscript May 6, 2020 -- someone shared this information with me and I feel like I should share it here:

"For the Greeks, “idiot” carried a very precise and special meaning. The person who was only interested in private life, private gain, private advantage, private circumstances and who did not care about the public good or the public welfare.
In both ancient and modern Greece, idiots are those had/have no conception of a public good, common wealth or shared interest in society.

"To the Greeks, the pioneers of democracy, the creators of the demos, such a person was the most contemptible of all. Because even the Greeks seemed to understand: you can’t make a functioning democracy out of idiots."

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