Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dark Nights

I wrote the poem below for a friend going through a difficult time.  I'm sharing it because I think it might have a more universal appeal...I know writing it comforted me.

It is not unusual for SpiritSpeak poems to utilize the term "we," as in this poem.  People ask who is "we?"  I don't have a ready answer other than the aspect of me that most identifies with Love thinks of herself as plural, rather than singular.  The closest image, and it is flawed, is of a team of guardian angels.  That's the best description I have at the moment.

If you are experiencing a dark period, assume this poem was written for you, with love.

As you sink into darkness and vision dims
While fear whispers with all its allure,
When tomorrow is more dreaded than today, and
Connections seem faded and illusory,
Can anything be gained, or regained?

While you sleep, we perch at the end of the bed
Watching you breathe,
Remembering, for you, your innocence.
Innocence is a terrifying thing to forget, or doubt.

To embark on a journey of self-evaluation
Without our guidance leads, inevitably, to the darkest of nights.
Your vision is so very different than ours,
With just enough overlapping truth to appear real, trustworthy.
Do you not know that we see and have always seen
Your weaknesses, your selfishness, your internal struggles,
Your expectations and demands?
Did you think all these years that you pursued us, and we you,
We were blind to your blindness? 

Precious child, perfection is your aim, not ours.
Perfection is your expectation, not ours.
There is no one within the realm of our care
That we honor more for her intention, her integrity, her effort.

We accept at this time, during this night,  that you mistrust us,
Doubt us, perhaps even disdain us.  We get it.
While you loosen your grasp on us, we hold fast to you,
Trusting you, loving you, knowing you, our friend.
We called to you so long ago, and you jumped with joy.
We will never forget.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I pause...

I am the mother of a murdered child
I am the sister of the shooter
I am the cousin of the Principal
I am the wife of a policeman
I am the pastor of a Newtown church
I am the rabbi nearby
I am the remaining brother’s best friend
I am the parent of a surviving child, and the
Grandmother of the slain psychologist.

Some of us want to rid the country of guns
Some of us want to give a gun to everyone.
Some of us want more laws, and
Some want fewer laws.
Some of us think Jesus is the answer, and
Some think Jesus is the problem.
Some think the shooter was ill, and
Others think him wicked and evil.

Truth be told, I don’t know the truth.

And so, as mother, friend, sister, cousin, pastor and rabbi,
I pause.
I allow reality to sink in.
Without disputing the facts, I withhold judgment,
And pause.
Acknowledging the pain and bewilderment,
I pause.
Acknowledging the calls to action,
The clamoring for change,
I pause.
Eschewing passivity,
I pause.

Wisdom rarely shouts.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why AlAnon?

Day 1              A steps on B’s toe

                        B: “Excuse me, you stepped on my toe.”

Day 2              A steps on B’s toe

                        B: “EXCUSE ME! You stepped on my toe.”

Day 3              A steps on B’s toe

                        B: “What’s the matter with you? You stepped on my toe again. 
                        Stop it.”

Day 4              A steps on B’s toe

                        B: “Are you deaf?  If you step on my toe one more time, I’m
                        calling the police.”

Day 5              A steps on B’s toe

                        B: “You don’t believe I’ll call the police??  Step on my toe one
                        more time and you’ll  become a believer!”

Day 6              A steps on B’s toe

                        B: “Do you want to go to jail??  You must want to spend a few
                        nights in jail.  Why else would you keep stepping on my toe?!

Day 7              A steps on B’s toe

                        B: “Do you see what you have become?  You are nothing but
                        a god-awful toe stepper!  That’s all you are!  You live to step
                        on toes.  How long do you think I’m going to put up with this?

Day 8              A walks into B’s room

                        B: “Here’s my toe.”

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This little light of mine...

So long as patriarchal, legalistic, fundamentalist Christian churches continue to exist there will also and always be men and more women who yearn to escape into a larger, more open worldview. I want to be one of the guides who serve as a companion and supporter for those who feel drawn to move out into a wider, taller, bigger faith. 

I, and many others, have walked that walk, and God knows I love to talk the talk!  Lest I be misunderstood, let me acknowledge at the outset that for millions of people fundamentalist Christian churches feel like home; I respect that choice and would not attempt to “lure” anyone out of a religious community that feels right for them.

Yet for those who feel their church or faith is too tight a fit; who feel judged and restrained, who are tired of pretending they are who they are not; who have the pervasive feeling that much of the teachings don’t make intellectual sense, and who suspect the Bible is not the be all and end all, especially when interpreted as literal truth, I want to hold up a lantern that lights the way to well-worn paths out.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Before I learned to meditate...

Our Sunday School class is reviewing a DVD of a dialogue between Ken Wilbur and Thomas Keating, which is sparking lots of memories for me.  I learned to meditate more than 20 years ago and soon after was privileged to view many instructional DVD’s of Father Keating teaching his method of contemplation, Centering Prayer.  A few years later I completed the initial training to be certified to teach Centering Prayer.  Quite simply, it changed my life.

Before I learned to meditate I had little or no experience of the meaning of the word, “serenity.”

Before I learned to meditate I believed myself to be undisciplined and impulsive.

Before I learned to meditate I was afraid of my own mind.

Before I learned to meditate “time stopping” was foreign to me.

Before I learned to pray in silence “the indwelling Holy Spirit” was merely theoretical.

Before I learned to pray in silence I had little access to my own Voice of Loving Kindness.

Before I learned to pray in silence I did not know it possible to rest in God.

Before I learned to pray in silence I would seek but rarely find.