“enter into the heart of prayer…”

to be washed, to be clean, to be seen,

to be stripped free, unconstrained,

born new, born again, borne of no time

enter here

this heart of prayer

sanctuary: you and God

resplendent silence

drenched in light

a sea of stillness

you remember

belonging

unadulterated knowing

spaces of certain plenty

innocence

promises that will

never grow old

*”To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.”  Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy

“consider the lilies…”

“Consider the lilies…

how they grow;

they toil not,

neither do they spin.” Matthew 6

consider

the lilies:

they grow.

they don’t toil.

they don’t spin.

they grow.

“in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)” e.e. cummings

there’s no rushing grace

no forcing the hand of Love’s flowers

no anxious intake of breath before the petals unfold

just a steady, certain opening of one’s hands

the offering was never in question

inevitable Giver

the whole world reciprocates with gladness

“The lilies grow without toiling or spinning. God clothes them. We can, we do grow from the same Source, and as unconsciously, and it should be as gently, from His dear hand who careth for us.” Mary Baker Eddy

floods of love…

“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah

floods of Love.

flooded with the floods of Love…encircled, engulfed, carried in the surging soaring currents of divine Love’s loving–right where the floods of anything else may seem to be, right there…right there…Love’s centre and circumference, centering, sheltering, a showering of promise, praise and peace. divine Mother Love holding each of us so tenderly, rooting and grounding us in strength, clarity, purity, poise, grace.

“Where the floods of trouble flow/ Find Thy perfect, calm reflection.” Edith Brewer

“What if the old dragon should send forth a new flood to drown the Christ-idea? He can neither drown your voice with its roar, nor again sink the world into the deep waters of chaos and old night.”  Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.” Song of Solomon

right here. right wherever we are…here…Love knows us, face to face.  deep in  pools of light, bottomless love…there, there, here, flooding out the floods of night.

“More glorious still, as centuries roll,
New regions blest, new powers unfurled,
So Truth reveals the perfect whole,
Its radiance shall o’erflow the world, —

Shall flow to bless but not destroy;
As when the cloudless lamp of day
Pours out its floods of light and joy,
And sweeps the lingering mist away.”

John Bowring

“love is a place…”

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

e.e. cummings

I’m thinking about the things that try to shut us down before we even get going: the negative whispers, the accusations, assertions of futility. how often we give them blanket access to our mental spaces, accept them as our own, deal with the darkness as if it is part of us.

yet no matter what the onslaught, no matter what the haze of confusion, uncertainty, despair…the steady stream of our lives flows on, flows right past the naysayers, flows into ever newness, flows and flows with the relentless purity of who we are.

no question there are times we feel distracted, tricked, stalled, but even then, integrity trumps lies, and right where the haze has been, our lives shine up before us.

In her book Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy has a gorgeous passage that talks about the joy that comes with overcoming, seeing through the things that don’t belong to us. She says,  “A louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached high heaven, now rises clearer and nearer to the great heart of Christ; for the accuser is not there, and Love sends forth her primal and everlasting strain.”

the accuser is not there, the assassin is not there…nothing can separate us from the love of God, nothing can separate us from love, from feeling and knowing and understanding our place in Love’s plan, and the crystal clear joy of this, the everlasting certainty of the word yes.

calling forth infinite care…

i received a mother’s day card the other day, and was surprised by how moved i was. it’s a gorgeous card that talks about a mother growing her garden with love and kindness, wearing beauty in her smile, carrying hope in every pocket, even as she teaches us to walk gently upon the earth, patiently planting seeds of love wherever she goes.

my path hasn’t included the literal versions of motherhood, and while it’s felt very right to me, there are times when i have been tempted to feel wistful. but even in those moments, there is a greater awareness of the vastness of what it means to mother and be mothered, and how each one of us has the opportunity and privilege to nurture, advocate, defend, watch over, love, appreciate, celebrate, cherish, embrace, give witness to the people in our lives, and even more broadly to do this with a great, loving, forbearing, and fierce heart for the world.

i have a good friend who has taught me a great deal about this kind of love, love that stands relentless and constant, even in the face of rejection; love that claims its own even while it sets them free; love that holds a light to shine out darkness; love that knows way past knowing that who we are will always be something profound, precious, unique, necessary.

i think about the song by John Legend, “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child…a long way from home” and the primal yearning to feel mothered, cherished, held as the apple of someone’s eye, safe, secure, adored, delighted in, loved. there’s something about this longing that transcends human experience…something that can only be described as a hunger for heaven, for a confirmation of inherent relevance, belonging, an assured connection with all that matters, a deep and certain sense that no matter what our lives have been like, we are holy, sure, undamaged, complete. Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way: “The sharp experiences of belief in the supposititious life of matter, as well as our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love.” She also talks about  the demand for spiritual, practical, Christian healing as “the babe that twines its loving arms about the
neck of omnipotence, and calls forth infinite care from His loving heart.”

i love this image..even the present possibility that each one of us can reach out, respond, wrap our arms around the imminent presence of an all-encompassing Mother Love; that even as we do, we call forth infinite care from a boundless loving heart–that knows us, calls us, and in turn shows us the unspeakable worth and significance of our lives. this turning, this hungering prompts awakening that dispels longing, a self-contained certainty of the sacredness of life, a love borne of the infinite, that cannot be contained, but shines its impartial, borderless presence everywhere.

Jesus gave us extraordinary glimpses of the power of the divine mother Love–the only real and revolutionary power–so simple and fundamental, earthshaking, transforming, inherent, at hand. and yet we chafe at its demands, feel unequal to its possibilities, even while Love compels our longing for it…prompting, insisting, demanding that we discover the true homeland that lies within us, the spiritual oasis of peace and freedom that pours forth unquenchable abundance. the longing is not a message of absence. it is simply a waymark pointing us toward home; tracing the design of Love’s hand within us–the surety that we are all made for glory, all of us awash in Love’s omnipresent light.

Mary Baker Eddy’s poem “Mother’s evening prayer” covers it all.

O gentle presence, peace and joy and power;
O Life divine, that owns each waiting hour,
Thou Love that guards the nestling’s faltering flight!
Keep Thou my child on upward wing tonight.

Love is our refuge; only with mine eye
Can I behold the snare, the pit, the fall:
His habitation high is here, and nigh,
His arm encircles me, and mine, and all.

O make me glad for every scalding tear,
For hope deferred, ingratitude, disdain!
Wait, and love more for every hate, and fear
No ill, — since God is good, and loss is gain.

Beneath the shadow of His mighty wing;
In that sweet secret of the narrow way,
Seeking and finding, with the angels sing:
“Lo, I am with you alway,” — watch and pray.

No snare, no fowler, pestilence or pain;
No night drops down upon the troubled breast,
When heaven’s aftersmile earth’s tear-drops gain,
And mother finds her home and heav’nly rest.

“grace…bright shining as the sun…”

i never tire of the word grace. it is a bottomless heart of blessing. an infinite hand of anointing. holiness ushering in its presence, ushering it out in us. turning into, dawning out, emerging tendrils of a precious thing.

God’s grace. inescapable. undeniable. Love claims its own and does not let go. no surrender except for our own to it.

no matter how far, how hard, how strange, cluttered or consuming our paths have been…Love wakens and washes in the midst…to show us life untainted, unstained, unbroken…held in the heart of God’s omnipotent hands. In words from the book of Deuteronomy: “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”

there are no bounds for grace. it is an invitation to be awed by the infinity of goodness, the presence and power of God, the great heart of Christ illumining our way: showing  us who we are from the inside out. helping us to nurture that for ourselves and others. welcoming home, convinced only of the inevitibility of good. relentless light that cuts through any concrete of dark, rendering us incapable of being less than what we’re meant to be.

i love the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector in the book of Luke. Jesus saw him up in a tree, told him to come down, that he was going to stay with him. there were whispers…(why is he going to the house of someone like that?)  the next thing we know Zacchaeus is pledging half of all that he has to give to the poor, and promises to repay fourfold anyone he has wrongly accused.

the emergence of integrity right through the rubble of self-doubt, fear, uncertainty, greed…the discovery of peace and purity where selfishness and darkness hold sway. nothing can compete with grace.

here’s to grace and all the ways its calling out our names; here’s to standing in the light of praise; here’s to looking for it everywhere; here’s to delight and awe, but not surprise; here’s to an unending well of infinite good, dwelling here, here, here in the midst.

John Newton’s story and his song speak it all:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

“love wash over a multitude of things…”

i’ve been thinking about the relationships in our lives: the ones that come and go; the ones that stay;  the ones that deepen. these ones…the ones that are refined, rarified in the fires of life, emerging with a fierce, patient and generous purity. the kind of love that sees you through and past the darkest of times, the kind of love that sees with such laser loving clarity that it is a beacon, a reminder, a homing signal, a kingdom carved of and built on the things that don’t fall apart.

i’m grateful for the people who have taught me about love–love that is unconditional, unrejectable, given freely. love that springs from infinite Love; love that knows no bounds, no measurements, no retraction, no withholding. love that includes the unfettered completeness and self-containment of the divine.

when my husband herb and i got married, the readings included a passage from Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy that seemed an unusual choice in some ways, but i couldn’t let it go. it says, “Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.”

now some ways down the road together i love the passage even more…the grace that comes, all pretense shed,  hopes and yearnings walking in broad daylight, the offering our lives become as we are beckoned to grow, to rise, to be, to recognize, to nurture, to honor, all that we are meant to be.

there is no match for love borne of purity, love that cements all intent and centers its heart on the great Love: the unquenchibility of omnipotent divine Love. it awakens holiness, peace, forbearance, beauty, generosity, power, and poise. it washes us in the waters of self-surrender, and we find ourselves wholer, truer, sounder than we knew before.

this love is everywhere…never dependent on finding the right life partner, but proceeding from the covenant within us, the discovery of a oneness with all good, our place in the Most High, our home in God. the love that anchors and proceeds from Love, guides and guards, nurtures and refines, reminds us ever of our abundant completeness…opens us to an overflow of sweet affection, spilling forth from Life, never fragile, needy, vacant, or unworthy–but dwelling in the very heart of Love, loving, calling us to its love, calling out our love, shedding the confines of separateness, flooding us with the infinite assurances of light. as it says in Song of Solomon, “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”

these words from a  song by Sara Groves capture it well:

“Love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Love wash over a multitude of things
Make us whole…”

“this is grace…an invitation to be beautiful”

i had some wonderful road time yesterday…highway, skyway time of thoughts glancing, glimpsing, glimmering, gleaning, singing, soaring. listened to some of Sara Groves‘ music…hence the title above…such a beautiful definition of grace..the gift ever given, beckoning  forth the beauty.. awakening it within us,  blooming, blossoming, blessing, embracing, showering, sheltering.

In her book Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy writes that “Man is the idea of Spirit; he reflects the beatific presence, illuming the universe with light.”

Here’s more of Sara Groves’ song mentioned above:

“We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That’s burning up inside”

beauty…

piercing the darkness with radiance

lit from inside

illumed by Love

alight in Love

loved

written

sung

known

adored

we

Love’s

light

“sink deep in humility…”

“Sink deep into humility — sink like a pebble through the water to the bottom of the lake– land softly and settle…” Shelley Nickerson sent me these beautiful words recently.

sink

deep

soft

gentle

resistless

into the arms of Love

to find

faith there

substance

hoped for

evidence of

heaven

belonging

“Into His haven of Soul enters no element of earth to cast out angels, to silence the right intuition that guides you safely home.” from Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17

permission granted…

how often do we wait

perched on the edge of thought

anticipation

a fertive look over the shoulder

waiting

with a feather weight of hesitation

footsteps tentative

even as we hearken forward

waiting for confirmation

permission

before the take off

the launch

unchecked

unfettered

flight

permission is not

on the brink

hanging by a thread

it is granted

steady certain underlying

all-encompassing hand of God

nudging us from nests

of huddled hopes

wings find footsteps in air

rise

stretched

poised

flight unforgotten

nature unceilinged

not out there

not somewhere in the distance

not when, but here

shooting through this moment

breaking veils of concrete, intransigence

wings of grace, surety, power, peace

moments owned

unleashed

ordained

approved.

Psalms: “therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness…”

Matthew: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

“Is there no divine permission to conquer discord of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love?” Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy