“the name of the place is Love”

the light is so bright…so bright…i can’t contain it…

blinding, searing, this great light…

light so bright…blinding light…

light, light, light of the world

fierce, threatening, illumining light

tell me, tell me what to do with this light

light that insists…spills through cracks

pursues you.

light.

will not be denied

cannot be fled from

light that names you

claims you

holds you

will not relent.

surrender my dear

surrender…

light is here…

has named you

framed you

and sends you forth as some

great, gentle, fierce

offering.

jacob wrestling with the angel (Genesis 32:24…)

would not let it go

till it blessed him.

just to be sure

he asked its name…

nameless hand of heaven

smiles upon us

urging urging urging

claiming us

for its own.

some grace tracing

the edges of our lives

singing forth the sound

of some sacred song.

sing darling sing

the air is singing around you

arms, light, very breath

pulsing with the praise, peace, promise

this now

run, run, run

to it

run, run, run

for it

your life is shameless

fetterless

exclamation

blessed

said

known

adored

approved

waited on

sheltered in haven

heaven hands holding

waving applauding

o silent chorus

of song

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i love this poem by lucille clifton, it captures the sentiment:

flowers

here we are

running with the weeds

colors exaggerated

pistils wild

embarrassing the calm family flower        oh

here we are

flourishing for the field

and the name of the place

is Love

~~~~~~~~~~~

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day..” I Thessalonians 5:5

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“…love, unselfed, knocks more loudly than
ever before at the heart of humanity and…finds
admittance; that revelation, spiritual voice and vision,
are less subordinate to material sight and sound and more
apparent to reason; that evil flourishes less, invests less
in trusts, loses capital, and is bought at par value; that
the Christ-spirit will cleanse the earth of human gore;
that civilization, peace between nations, and the brother‐
hood of man should be established, and justice plead not
vainly in behalf of the sacred rights of individuals, peoples,
and nations.” Mary Baker Eddy

“it’s going to be alright…”

woke the other morning to the words from Sara Groves‘ song “It’s going to be alright.”

“it’s going to be…alright…

it’s…going to be… alright…

just when you cannot…

then I will hold out faith…for you”

swept, washed in comfort,

carried, companioned,

sheltered, sustained.

hope engendered,

conviction undeterred,

peace rendered,

repelling, dispelling, silencing

encroaching doubt, fear, uncertainty.

air alive with possibility.

hosts of angels

prodding,

singing,

urging,

whispers of Truth

searing, certain, relentless comfort of God

rending the dark

lighting up the inside.

“Thus founded upon the rock of Christ, when storm
and tempest beat against this sure foundation, you,
safely sheltered in the strong tower of hope, faith, and
Love, are God’s nestlings; and He will hide you in His
feathers till the storm has passed. Into His haven of
Soul there enters no element of earth to cast out angels,
to silence the right intuition which guides you safely
home.” Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy

where is Love’s voice not present?

where anywhere is Love’s hand not at work?

quiet, resistless fingers disentangle darkness.

roads to Damascus everywhere.

inevitable righting.

immaculate.

yes.

it’s going to be alright.

holding your ground…taking hold on heaven…

there is a gracious power in knowing who you are.

and it’s the knowing that counts.

unapologetic presence.

resources unspent.

no jockeying for position.

but being simply who you are.

and even when you’re not sure who that is

to hold your ground

to listen

to feel that knowing rise within

there are a couple passages in Mary Baker Eddy’s writings that speak to this: “Moral courage is ‘the lion of the tribe of Juda,’ the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams in the forest. Undisturbed it lies in the open field, or rests in “green pastures, . . beside the still waters.”

“And how is man, seen through the lens of Spirit, enlarged, and how counterpoised his origin from dust, and how he presses to his original, never severed from Spirit! O ye who leap disdainfully from this rock of ages, return and plant thy steps in Christ, Truth, “the stone which the builders rejected”! Then will angels administer grace, do thy errands, and be thy dearest allies. The divine law gives to man health and life everlasting — gives a soul to Soul, a present harmony wherein the good man’s heart takes hold on heaven, and whose feet can never be moved. These are His green pastures beside still waters, where faith mounts upward, expatiates, strengthens, and exults.”

there’s so much in the world that would get us to look outside ourselves for confirmation of who we are, and how we’re doing. so many voices, suggestions, conflicting messages, a constant din…

i’ve been thinking about Jesus’ experience during his 40 days in the wilderness: how the temptations came to him; how he responded. The first two came in similar forms: if you really are the son of God…do this…prove it… Jesus didn’t rise to the taunts. He knew who we was; he held his ground; he felt the angels of God’s presence ministering.

how many times do we have the opportunity to listen more deeply for who we are, to stand our ground with what feels right–to feel the peace, strength and authority that comes when we do; and to grapple with the sense of regret or betrayal when we don’t.

it’s never too late to reclaim the ground though; refocus our gaze on what’s true; to feel the authenticity of spiritual dignity and grace–identity rooted in the presence and power of the unchanging goodness of God; to watch how the awareness of this has a way of setting everything right.

entertaining angels unawares…

I’ve been thinking about what it might have been like for those shepherds that night, watching their flocks, cradled in darkness, the air pulsing with silence, the stars brilliant filling the sky.

The angel spoke to them in this way: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

The night skies were filled with praise. At first they were afraid, but the angel said, “Fear not, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be for all people.”

First inspiration, illumination, a message, then assurance, peace, and finally direction, a course of action. The shepherds listened and they followed.

How are the angels speaking to us? How many times have we been given a quiet message of clarity, truth, certainty, an impulse for action that felt so right–that to think of it brought immediate peace–something we know we couldn’t have come up with on our own? And yet sometimes we overlook, dismiss the radical simplicity and immediacy of it, and later recognize it for what it is–recognize the guidance, the tender presence, the shepherding..and perhaps groan within ourselves because we haven’t heeded it.

I had an experience like that a few years ago. I was driving on the highway and impulsively began to switch lanes. The thought came to wait, but I didn’t. As I moved into the next lane, a large rock hit my windshield. Though it didn’t shatter, and I was fine, I wept over the warning that I didn’t heed. But as I did so a quiet, quiet message came: “you cannot escape My grace.” I felt flooded with peace and relief.

At first we thought we’d have to replace that window. A small circle about 3 inches across had formed in the center of the windshield. We expected it to splinter all the way across with a change of weather. It never did, and somehow I couldn’t bring myself to change the windshield: it became a constant reminder to listen for God’s angels, and the promise that none of us can escape the infinite circle of His grace.

Mary Baker Eddy speaks of the significance of angels in her book Science and Health: “The footsteps of thought, rising above material standpoints, are slow, and portend a long night to the traveller; but the angels of His presence — the spiritual intuitions that tell us when “the night is far spent, the day is at hand” — are our guardians in the gloom.

These upward-soaring beings never lead towards self, sin, or materiality, but guide to the divine Principle of all good, whither every real individuality, image, or likeness of God, gathers. By giving earnest heed to these spiritual guides they tarry with us, and we entertain “angels unawares.”

Poet Lucille Clifton puts it this way:

friends

the ones who talk to me

their words thin as wire

their chorus fine as crystal

their truth direct as stone,

they are present as air.

they are there.

And my friend Shelley says it so beautifully like this:

Angels

Angels thrive

Between the lines

of our living…   

Understood

Through the subtitles

of coincidence

and longing.

Shelley Nickerson