thought gently whispers...
Friday, August 13, 2021
"above all things..."
"if a picture paints a thousand words..."
Thursday, August 5, 2021
"in a dream..."
Saturday, July 31, 2021
"as i write this letter..."
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
"i love to tell the story..."
Friday, July 23, 2021
"hold them up..."
Saturday, July 17, 2021
"catching the unseen..."
Once there is this moment of connection -- the opening of her wings and stepping forward, uniting with the ever-present current of air (or thermal) she catches -- there is flight. There is a choreography that cannot exist without this unity. The thermal cannot be seen without the form of the eagle to give it visibility, and the eagle is motionless without the invisible current that lifts her.
I love this relational aspect of prayer. Yes, God is ever-present and always speaking, guiding, directing, protecting us -- and for this I am so forever grateful. But there is something so beautiful, and sweet, and powerful about the "dance" of opening my heart, and stepping into the "presence" -- of actively listening. This is not a petitioning, but a celebration of Soul. It is song, and dance, and poetry. It is the marriage of lyric with melody and movement. It is pure and refreshing. It is both comforting and inviting.
This kind of prayer isn't asking for anything. For why should we need to ask, when our all-powerful, Father-Mother God already knows all -- and loves us, so much. This prayer wants nothing but to be one -- to dance -- with the Divine. This is not the day-to-day "rushing about madly," while knowing that God is "in charge" kind of praying. It is something quite different.
I never doubt that the thermals of Spirit will be there when I step off the ever-crumbling ledge of human control or worry -- the undulating edge that my life often looks and feels like. Those moments when thunderheads blacken the horizon, and I think I can neither see a divine plan -- before or behind. When it looks as if lifitng my wings will put them right into the path of a lightning bolt. I do it anyway, and there is a rush of peace when I feel that invisible current under my heart -- lifting it above doubt and despair. It is not unlike the rush of love I feel when I look into my daughters' faces and remember that God trusted me with His precious child.
When it seems as if I'm falling out of grace. I pause for just a moment, and shift in this space of listening. And I can feel yet another current of God's love carrying me out of the descent.
This is what prayer feels like to me. I love riding these thermals of Love -- in joyful celebration of Her unseen ever-presence. It is how I remind myself that what is unseen is often more powerful than what is not. It is to be raised up, "on eagle's wings.".
Friday, June 11, 2021
Sunday, May 23, 2021
"we're not that different at all..."
“Her discoveries have profoundly altered the world’s view of animal intelligence and enriched our understanding of humanity in a way that is both humbling and exalting. Ultimately, her work exemplifies the kind of humility, spiritual curiosity, and discovery that my grandfather, John Templeton, wrote and spoke about during his life.”
Humility, spiritual curiosity, and discovery. Aren't these the defining attributes of every great thought-leader.
My own spiritual heroes, Jesus Christ and Mary Baker Eddy, brought these same qualities to their desire to understand the law of Love and the impartial and universal application of that law in the lives of all conscious beings.
I am so deeply grateful for the progress that humanity has made in recognizing that although, on the surface, we might seem so different, we're really not that different at all. Spirituality dissolves the differences we define as race, gender, species, genus with the consciousness of God's All-in-allness.
I have learned more about unconditional love from our non-speaking family members -- the ones who navigate this experience on four legs -- than I have from most humans.
So today, I am deeply grateful for the legacy of respect and compassion for all creatures, that Jane Goodall has left to us as a record of our ever-evolving history of what it means to be conscious beings sharing the same spiritual landscape.
offered with Love,
Friday, May 14, 2021
"it's all i need to know..."
God is Love,
if it's all I ever learn in life,
it's all I need to know..."
I was reaching for joy, but it seemed so beyond my grasp that night. I'd received a call earlier in the evening that shook me to my core. Sorrow and bewilderment circled like coyotes looking for a place in my heart. I was on full alert, but tired. I needed a companion in the watch. Mindy Jostyn's beautiful, "God is Love" was a friend in the dark.
I let her remind me through the night that if I took nothing away from this experience -- but an understanding of what it meant that God is Love -- it would be enough. The hope of healing was alive in me. But what that healing would look like seemed elusive. In some ways, I didn't even know what to hope for. Would I stop feeling sad? Would the pain disappear? Would my heart cease to ache? Would someone tell me that the call I'd received earlier had never really happened?
I'd been sitting in the dark for hours, when I suddenly felt an overwhelming desire to read from Mary Baker Eddy's primary text on spiritual healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. I had a long history with finding healing and comfort in her pages. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. I turned on the lamp and opened my dog-eared copy randomly.
My eyes fell on these words from a longer sentence:
"...the proof of healing,
a sweet and certain sense
that God is Love."
It washed over, and through, me like a dam breaking upstream. The proof of healing wasn't going to be seen in a changed physical picture. I wasn't going to hear different news, or wake up to a different report. But I would know this healing. I would have absolute proof of healing. I would feel it in a "a sweet and certain sense that God is Love" filling my heart -- filling my life.
I turned off the lamp and returned to the stillness of the night. I listened to Mindy's voice -- and I knew I was healed. I felt it. It started as a glowing ember at my core. I felt Spirit breathe upon its presence - all the hope, trust, and affection I held in my heart. Before long, I could feel that "sweet and certain sense that God is Love" radiating, warming, and filling every dark corner of the night. I was healed. I had proof.
Elsewhere in Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy assures us:
"The depth, breadth, height,
might, majesty, and glory
of infinite Love fill all space.
That is enough!"
And it really was. It was enough, just to know that, "God is Love." I could actually feel that it was the most important thing I would ever learn in life, and that it was all that I would ever really need to know.
On the surface of things, nothing had changed. But deep within my heart I actually felt it -- that sweet and certain sense that God is Love -- and it was all the proof of healing I needed. I have returned to this experience many times since that night.
In fact, just today my heart was heavy. The news was overwhelming. One alarming report after another. One disturbing account immediately on the heels of the last. The information was coming rapid fire. It felt like I had been praying -- without ceasing -- for days. I couldn't even imagine what healing might look like when there was so much to be healed, and so many issues to be prayerfully addressing.
As I stood at the stove waiting for the tea kettle to boil, the strains of Mindy's "God is Love," washed through my heart like the soundtrack from a favorite film. I recalled that night, over a decade earlier, when I had felt so engulfed in grief. And I remembered -- the only proof of healing I needed to feel was:
"a sweet and certain sense
that God is Love"
I closed my eyes, quieting the clamor of the human mind. And there it was -- the feeling. That sweet and certain sense that God is Love filling my heart. It was all the proof I needed. It was enough.
offered with Love,
Saturday, May 8, 2021
"all you have to do is call..."
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
"Kickin' this stone..."
"Kickin' this Stone
kickin' this Stone…
kickin' these blues out into the open light
where moss can't grow…
…Kickin' this stone
Down this long highway
All across the countless miles
From the cradle to the grave
Past all my mistakes
With all their guilt and shame
Through the gentle rain of tears
Sweet forgiveness came…"
I love church…especially the Wednesday evening tradition of my own faith. I am never too inspired, too peaceful, too sure of my own spiritual ground to not have it bless me in unexpected ways.
I have learned that if I leave all my costumes, roles and titles out on the sidewalk, and just enter the door with a hungry heart…I leave fed.
Last night was no exception…and the blessing was so surprisingly BIG. The inspirational readings were on "opinion." Our little group meets in a storefront on a wonderful walking neighborhood street full of shops and restaurants and coffeehouses. So we place a sandwich board out on the sidewalk. It lists the theme of our meeting and invites everyone to feel welcome. When my husband saw the sign last night, he initially thought it said that the meeting was going to be about "onions"…thank goodness he was wrong.
The readings were strong and compassionate. The impotence of opinions rang through every citation. I could easily nod my head in agreement. Mary Baker Eddy says, "…mere opinion is valueless." I concur. But as much as I agreed with where the readings and hymns took us, I felt like crying…church often does this to me.
It was so easy for me to see that this spiritual premise about the valueless-ness of opinion is true. I can readily accept that any mere opinion about someone or something is absolutely valueless to me as a spiritual thinker. So why was this message stirring up so much sadness in me?
As I probed around in the darkness while sitting quietly in our small congregational circle, I came upon the stone that was gathering moss in my heart. It wasn't my opinion of others - or others' opinions about me - that made me heartsick. It was my opinions about myself. I realized that I had entertained opinions about my own mistakes and choices that left me filled with quiet regret and remorse.
I sat there and wondered if those feelings would ever abate, when I heard a young college professor and research scientist begin to speak about a recent healing he had experienced. I heard him say, "people often think that science is about proving something, but science is about disproving a hypothesis…and it only takes disproving it once to prove that it is not scientifically true." He went on to explain that if something is scientifically true, it must be true EVERY time. So if it can be disproved even once, it is not really true.
This sent a shockwave through the dark places of self-doubt I had been wandering around in. I was wallowing in a space where I was sure I could easily spend the rest of my life trying to prove that the bad opinions I held of myself were not true... that I would have to prove in hundreds of thousands of different ways that I was not a bad mother, a negligent sister, a forgetful friend, a less than perfect wife. But I suddenly saw that each time I WAS a good mother, an attentive sister, an alert friend, a compassionate neighbor, a good wife, I had disproved those false opinions I had harbored in the dark regions of my heart and stubbed my toe on.
I could kick them into the light and let them be good and precious stones…cleansed by tears, bleached by the sun, strong and ready to use for building a better view of myself...a foundation strong and sure.
It only takes one act of kindness, fidelity, attentiveness, patience, humility to disprove the validity of false opinions about ourselves...and others. It's good to be a scientist. To be Christian in my practice of this Science - even with myself - is heavenly.
You can see why I love church…