The Inner Voice of Who Knows What

the pilgrimage: Henri Nouwen and my own topsy-turvy little heart

Archive for the month “December, 2007”

mystical christmas

The spirit moves in mysterious ways, yes?
Shouldn’t Christmas be a time to celebrate that mystery of the spirit?

I believe it – so does the Oneness Center of Fresno. My family and I, looking for a meaningfully different kind of Christmas Eve service tonight, ventured to the center and witnessed one of the most beautiful services I have ever experienced.

It wasn’t an average Christian service by any stretch of the imagination.
The message was not to believe in Jesus and bask in his power – this was the message of my church yesterday morning. We skipped over the beauty of Christmas entirely, and I walked away very disheartened.

The message was to simply reflect on what it means to experience the divine presence within each of us, within ourselves and within others. The beauty of Christmas is that Jesus comes with such subtlety and ordinary life as a simple peasant baby of an oppressed people… but that his life is a testimony to what happens when the presence of God is always sought, always revered, and always loved.

We talked about ‘enlightenment,’ ‘realizing one’s divinity,’ ‘metaphysical interpretation,’ ‘the divine in me’ – the language is not familiar to my Western ear, but it reminds me a side of God that I sometimes forget.

God is not all common sense; God is mysterious.

The story of Christmas is not of one reason and rational thinking… unusual, unexpected things are happening in a world that is calling for a Messiah. A young girl giving birth to a child not created the way children are usually created — a father who owes nothing but chooses to love a young woman and her illegitimate son — an old, barren cousin having a son who will later eat locusts and wild honey — men traveling for weeks, months, years to follow a star that they believe will lead them to a prophesied king — and all this happening to a tiny Jewish life that probably has no idea what all the commotion is about.

I love Christmas. I love the fact that it really doesn’t make that much sense. And there is the beauty. Let’s recognize God’s presence wherever we see it… I see it in this tiny child, in this story, in this season. I see it in you, and I see it in me, and I see in Josie who I met today on Olive.

I see it in the song “O Holy Night,” which never hit me until tonight. The reason that a traditional, liturgical hymn would touch me in a place where mysticism, interspirituality, and metaphysics are the norm – now that is a mystery!

a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
fall on your knees, oh hear the angels voices
oh night divine!
oh night… when Christ was born

merry christmas, and namaste!

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christmas break discoveries

In the few days away from my usual life of tedious and/or invigorating academics, the company of twenty other young women residents, the tranquility of covering books, the same pre-planned lunch each day of the week, and a real bed –
I have learned that…

My little brother is ridiculous. He tells us to stop “exasperating” him and then claims that he has a limited vocabulary so he can’t be held to his words. I can’t wait to see that kid grow up.

I really, really enjoy citrus fruits. I never have in my life, until a few weeks ago. I’m glad for the change of heart!

The Big Lebowski is really not worth your time, if you’ve been pondering it. Don’t even worry about it.

I need a coat.

The Bible would have turned out very different if written by women. Currently reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant… It’s written from the perspective of Dinah, an often-overlooked Old Testament character from the days of Jacob, his twelve sons, and his four wives. Now really, do we ever stop and think what kind of everyday life that messy family would have experienced?

Moccasins don’t mix well with rain. Neither does very hot chocolate mix well with an unsuspecting tongue.

What have you learned?

i love peacemaking.

we told that cannon who’s boss. and we still look good.
don’t even mess with us when we’ve got pacifism in mind.

hanford.
courtesy of caitlin baird.

i love music.

i’m not usually much of a romantic.
but this changes my mind.
lakes.
courtesy of caitlin baird.

saved?

this was posted in response to another’s blog, that wonderful man barry mast.
just thought i’d share in the larger sphere. it’s something that is very, very close to my heart and on my mind every day…

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one thing that’s been on my mind recently is this idea that “salvation” may be more of an awakened consciousness than anything else.

once we realize who we are created to be – parts of a bigger and grander whole, children of a creator who vastly loves us, people who make mistakes but still believe in ours and others’ redemption…

perhaps we’ve been “saved” all along, but it really hits home once we start to recognize it and live in response to it.

as far as salvation being a one-way ticket to heaven… i just can’t invest in a god, who LOVES his people, condemning them away from his presence by failing to pick up the correct ticket.

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do we see being ‘saved’ as more than a one-way ticket out of jail?
do we even acknowledge the fact that salvation is SO much bigger than ‘me and god’?
do we give god enough room to be who god is and not fit into our tidy four-pillar formulas?
do we allow god room to be grey, though it may cause discomfort for our logical minds?

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