bathed in sweetness, bathed in love

i love the images and cards from pondering pool by Susan Mrosek. this one speaks to me today.

there is a rich autumn breeze blowing, the husky air of summer ushering in September. the air is kind, cool and warm. a washing, baptizing. moments calmed, cleaned, slipping easily into old worn out shoes, everything sitting, fitting well.  gratitude hovers like sunlight.

there is a need to bathed in kindness. there is a need to bathe ourselves in kindness.

there is a need to remember, know, be clear about who we are. to not let the world impose its thoughts upon us.

JB Philips in his translation of Romans 12:2 says this: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mold.”

between all the storms internal and external, market fluctuations, personal upheavals and struggles, i’ve been noticing a lot of shell-shocked looks lately…friends, neighbors not sure what has hit them…how thought gets mired in, paralyzed in patterns of uncertainty and fear. Ryan Bingham’s song seems more than fitting:

“This ain’t no place for the weary kind
This ain’t no place to lose your mind
This ain’t no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try”

Pick up your crazy heart…pick up your sweet heart…be bathed in sweetness…be bathed in love.

all the storms in the world cannot take from you one ounce of who you are…they cannot break you, make you, define you.

they can, if you let them, prompt something deeper in you to waken…waken…take possession of that core order, sweetness, certainty, rocklike light within. you are not made to grovel, weep, or to be broken.

waken

waken

break this

half-dazed

slumber

of intractable despair

shake loose

the shackles

slide ever so guilelessly

from this shell

emerge

emerge

into the light

so right

yes

you do stand sturdy

on your own sure feet

everything about you

unable to hold back

surety of footing

impulse to sing

air rippling

lightness of laughter

you

bathed

soaked

immersed

showered

evidencing

Love’s light

Psalm XXIII

[DIVINE LOVE] is my shepherd; I shall not want.

[LOVE] maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

[LOVE] leadeth me beside the still waters.

[LOVE] restoreth my soul [spiritual sense]:
[LOVE] leadeth me in the paths of  righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for [LOVE] is with me; [LOVE’S]rod and [LOVE’S] staff they comfort me.
[LOVE] prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
[LOVE] anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
and I will dwell in the house [the consciousness] of [LOVE] for ever.
(interpretation of the 23rd Psalm in Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy)

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.