| ANNE WILLIAMSON |
I am a (Holy) Spirit person. I like to think of and experience God as a divine spirit or energy, moving in and through all things. I believe this Spirit moves us to be and love extravagantly every day, every moment. We don't always hear its calling - the divine voice is still and small, everything our culture is not - but it's there nonetheless, constant and patient.
The Spirit's unwillingness to shout can be frustrating. Even when we think we hear Its "voice," well, that's scary because the promptings usually take vulnerability and courage. And, we wonder, "What if I didn't really hear what I thought I heard? What if it's all mind games and nonsense?" Scarer still, we eventually realize we can't ever know, not really. Faith, even thoughtful faith, always takes some, well, faith.
So instead of living into the mystery, some religious folks idolize the Bible or other sacred texts. Words are certain, right? Other folks stop listening all together. From my perspective, neither works very well. The Spirit's call is to consciousness, wholeness, peace; because we want this too, it's a call that becomes an ache when ignored.
But, it is scary. To think we'd hear the Spirit wrong. To know others assign It to their violence and greed. I don't dismiss this. I simply think these possibilities aren't worth a world disconnected from and unpracticed in hearing the Spirit. This divine energy not only guides us to our own wholeness, it guides the world to wholeness and our role in getting it there. We each have a unique calling, a vocation - things we're here to learn and be and do. The Spirit opens us to this calling, this wholeness, if we're willing. Want to risk it with me?
What do you think of the idea of Spirit? A Divine Energy? Is it important, even possible, to learn to recognize Its "voice?" LISTEN, LEARN, LOVE...
An excerpt from Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings. The protagonist's name is Sarah Grimké.
"I sat in my room at midday with my eyes closed and my fingers laced in my lap, listening for the Voice the Quakers seemed so sure was inside of us.... For them, this listening was the ultimate inactivity, a kind of capitulation to the stillness of one's private heart. I wanted to believe God would eventually show up, murmuring little commands and illuminations. As usual, I heard nothing....
I asked him pointedly what the Inner Voice sounded like. How will I recognize it? 'I cannot tell you,' he wrote. 'But when you hear it, you will know.'
That day the silence felt unusually dull and heavy, like the weight of water. It clogged my ears and throbbed against my drums. Fidgety thoughts darted through my mind, reminding me of squirrels loose in their trees. Perhaps I was too Anglican, too Presbyterian, too Grimké for this. I lifted my eyes to the fireplace and saw the coals had gone out.
Just a few more minutes, I told myself, and when my lids sank closed again, I had no expectations, no hope, no endeavoring - I'd given up on the Voice - and it was then my mind stopped racing and I began to float on some quiet stream.
The voice broke into my small oblivion, dropping like a dark, beautiful stone.
I caught my breath. It was not like a common thought - it was distinct, shimmering, and dense with God.
I opened my eyes. My heart leapt so wildly I placed a hand across my breast and pressed.
It was unthinkable...."
What is Sarah's experience stirring in you? Do you have questions, doubts, wonderings? Perhaps your own similar experience? Keep remembering and listening...
Out of what's stirring in you, set a loving intention for this coming week. Share it with s/Someone. My offering...
Find a space where you can sit quietly and comfortably for a few minutes. Consider a decision or situation with which you've been wrestling. Let your mind wander to all the usual ideas, questions, fears this situation conjures for you. Then, in your mind's eye, visually wrap those things up and place them aside, knowing they're there if needed. Say, silently or aloud, "I am open now. Open to a deeper truth, wisdom, love, grace..." Then, simply listen.
And, join us this week at WAYfinding as we wonder about the Spirit together:
Wednesday, 7:00p - 9:00p
Wednesday, 7:00p - 9:00p (Mom's Group)
Thursday, 12:00p - 1:15p
Email me for locations. All in Broad Ripple/SoBro area.