verse 11:40 ‘god has planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made more perfect’
12:2 so let us run the race marked out for us….

i have been reading something about how the hunger for community is a natural part of the contemplative journey, the inner/outer longing for oneness and intimacy. ahh yes. that is it, isn’t it, the inner longing does seek some sort o congruence in the outer existence i suppose.

this makes me wonder much. about balance, for instance. when we are living from a soul-centered place will we create communities which reflect that space in the outer world? likewise, how deeply can really inhabit our soulspaces when the external world in which we exist can feel so disconnected?  will the healing of one bring about the healing
of the other in both directions? can one aspect even begin to heal to a new
level if the other is not? or is it that the living deeply in one’s soul
balances out the external surface existence like an anchor….

back to the yearning for community.  sometimes it is palpable. communicating that longing to those who do not experience the longing is difficult.  i suppose i am speaking a foreign language in some way, yes. and in other ways i think it frightens them.  they think i am going to abandon them. as if i cannot simply share my longing in the same way in which i can share other feelings because they are accustomed to longing equating to action/fixing/changing rather than ‘being in’.

but this is a longing that doesn’t want to be ‘filled’, it somehow wants to pour
itself out and be. when i imagine such a community, it is more a feeling of
beingness together, of movement as One body somehow, it is a wordless intimacy, a connection deeper than the need for words of assurance of affirmation.
yesterday in my lectio time, i was spending time in hebrews (of all places) in
the passage about the cloud of witnesses (11:32-12:2) of those who have
journeyed through this experience of life before me…experiencing the same
struggle, oppression, shame, and longing for freedom that are a part of my/our own. there were 3 realities to which i was drawn…which i think are related a bit to the idea that 2 longings lead to a third… or to becoming one.

one, i was drawn to recognize myself in each of the characters, each one some part of me…the one who has been beaten down and struggled to get back up, the one who has been buried and is now resurrecting, the ones who remain hidden from me not yet able to move into the light due to the fear that still dwells in those same hidden places in me, the ones who have been cast to the edges of my being where they starve for love or are left out in the cold. here is the call for welcoming them when i catch glimpses of them or feel their nudges or stirrings to life in me. here is the call to practice welcoming prayer in accepting them back ‘into the fold’. here is the call to open my heart wider, to invite the cold into its warmth, the weary into its shelter, and the hungry into its nourishment.

as the previous days passage had reminded me to be open and keep the light on for Christ’s arrival, so did this passage remind me to do the same for parts of myself previously rejected or abandoned. and there i could not help but notice the Oneness of the two. the surprise, the unexpected, in the
previous days passage (you know not when the master will return) is the truth that christ returns with the rejected. no, christ will not look like i imagine at all when christ comes as the forgotten and rejected parts of myself whom i am this day invited to open to, to shine the light upon, and to welcome inside.

two, the complementary, balancing, external story, the more ‘obvious’ one
perhaps is that i likewise need to be open to the stranger in my midst who is
also ‘journeying this experience of life’ and seeking to bring Love into being
in some hidden way…likely also having been wounded in the process. and so the call to open again, to shine the light upon what is hidden in them (it is
important to notice here for me that it is me that has turned the light out and
closed the door) all that i am called to welcome and Love in myself, i am called to love and welcome and those whom i encounter ‘out there’.

and yet it is the 3rd way that moved me most deeply, and filled me with wonder at the mystery before which i stood…which i shan’t be able to express here, i am sure, as once again my understanding was on a different level than words, words which i have likely even read myself on the level of thought before…..

my pondering began with that longing for community of which we have been
speaking, for i began to notice a profound (and once again palpable) sense of
comfort in imagining myself being in the company of, surrounded and accompanied by the ‘cloud of witness’, by those who had made this journey before me, who could lend to me their wisdom and encouragement (i like the definition of en-courage, ‘to cause one to listen to one’s heart’), by those who know what it is like here in this body where, as cynthia bourgeaut likes to say, we ‘bump into hard things’. i felt the presence and the comfort of these ones who can accompany me through the lives, crucifixions, deaths, and resurrections of my souls’ journey here. they were there with me as i prayed the hour, as they always have been beyond/despite my awareness…as they also are (and here was the surprising inside out part that really began to move me) WITHIN me. in my very physical biological being (dna,etc), in my learnings passed on to me from my family of origin and its long lineage (back perhaps to those biblical ones of which i was reading), in my consciousness somehow through the collective human rememberance of something pre-human, through the breath of life or the bang of light from whence we all emerged, through the Oneness that is overflowing into being. i can draw on that wisdom of generations of which i sing in the psalms not just as i would lessons from wise elders (nor even simply from the resonance of common human experience) but also because the wisdom actually (literally perhaps) dwells within me!

likewise, i may be able to heal, release from prison, or bring back to life something that has been wounded, oppressed, or lost for generations of humanity. i am a part of something so much greater than i am here in this moment and yet in this moment ‘all that is’ is present. i am everything that is or ever was, everything is in me AND i am but a small piece of the story. what is happening inside of me as i welcome the lost heals the universe. i can set the captive free at last. my yearning is the universe groaning within. my loving attention to that within me brings forth beauty and life. as god seeks out the lost parts of godself and/or loves them into being, so do i. as my heart grows in love, so does god’s. there is One story. each one of us bears the same Story. beneath it all, we are in communion.

inside out. outside in.
i am time. i am eternity.
i am not alone. i am all one. all that is or ever was is with me.

oh, there are no words for this….

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