Two years ago, I wrote my first Glimmer. I was writing about Epiphany, as I am this January night, a lovely Christian tradition celebrating the arrival of wisdom figures from far away. These three traveled a great distance to kneel before the Divine. At the time, it felt like an appropriate theme as I stepped forward in community ministry. I too, seek the Light. I find myself in awe of Love in the world. I am willing to be a witness of that Love.
On Epiphany, in this new year of 2016, I entered an experience of Bethlehem and made my own journey to the Christ child. The church hall’s transformation allowed my heart to be open to a make-believe Holy Land while experiencing very real feelings within myself. When my name was taken for the census, I wondered about my status as a woman in a restricted culture. As the kind purveyor of herbs shared her goods, I felt welcomed to a simpler time. All around me, folks moved between vendors’ tents in traditional clothing, sharing stories in the marketplace. In the distance, I saw Mary and Joseph with their infant. I held onto my husband’s arm as we climbed the steps to see Jesus. Some ache remains in my ankle, but I am so grateful for my time of healing. We approached, said hello to each and then moved closer to look into the eyes of the little guy. He fussed a bit, perhaps he was worn out from all the visitors. But his mama, “Mary,” was relaxed and just shifted him in her arms as she stood up to give us a closer look. His sweet face and soft skin pulled at my heart, he was beautiful! I looked into Mary’s eyes and saw a mother’s love. Without thinking I said, “Thank you for committing yourself to caring for this child,” speaking as if I was present at that long ago moment in Bethlehem. Those two parents chose to nurture the gift of Love that became a gift to us all. Tears filled my eyes and I became a traveler standing before the Divine.
Thomas Keating, OCSO, suggests that Epiphany might be called “enlightenment” in other religions. He said, “Epiphany is the inward realization and consciousness of being identified with who we really are. We are not our false selves or egos. Kiss them goodbye. ….the most important aspect in life is the epiphany or revelation of God that is going on all the time in the details of life.”
God IS going on all the time in the details of life! I wonder if it’s only disbelief that prevents us from seeing the Mystery right before our eyes. Do we get caught in the demands and routines of contemporary lifestyles? Are we desensitized to the amazing reality around us? My prayer is to stay open with an innocent heart, so I may see Love in my life...a father kissing his son’s head, a family honoring a loved one’s memory, a reconciliation between friends, a chaplain holding a patient’s hand...each are moments of Love. Each bring Love’s energy into the world, providing comfort, healing and nourishment.
I seek to be part of this divine legacy. I seek to share Love as best I can so my energy is aligned with this great gift we’ve been given. Meister Eckhart tells us, “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.” My response is yes, as I re-commit myself in this new year. May my eyes shine as “Mary’s” did when Love is present between us.
Blessings to you, dear friends, as your new year begins. May hope and courage rest in your heart and direct your choices.
You are thought of with love and gratitude,