Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ONE MOTHERS' DAY AT A TIME, 12 weeks later

FINDING TIME We must be swift to obey the winged impulses of His Love, carrying Him to wherever He longs to be, and those who recognize His presence will be stirred like Elizabeth, with new life They will know His Presence, not by any beauty or power shown by us, but in a way that the bud knows the presence of the light, by an unfolding in themselves, by a putting forth of their own beauty

It seems His favourite way of being recognized is not by his own human features, but by the quickening of of His own life in the heart, which is the response to His coming. 
                                                                  The Reed of God by Caryll Houslander

Because I am back here in peaceful Lake Tahoe, I have time to get to know a new friend, Caryll Houselander, througth her book, The Reed of God. When I walked into a wonderful bookstore, the Agnus Dei, before I left for Tahoe, my eyes darted immediately to a little out of the way paperback with an author whose name I had some vague recollection of from high school days, now almost 50 years ago. Her name was linked with mystery and holiness and some unusual enthusiasm from the nuns of my Catholic education, an education I only came to appreciate years and years after the rebellion of my younger know-it-all stage- pieces of which still cling to my soul like static remnants. 

 Today, five decades later, this author, handpicked for me by the Holy Spirit, just as I entered innocently into Agnus Dei to visit the owner, a God loving woman that defies description-in a wonderful way, has caused me to see much deeper into the practice of the Presence, which this blog is all about. More unpacking of the suitcase I took home from the Mother's Day retreat, now about three months ago. 

Because I am back here in peaceful Lake Tahoe, with my two granddaughters, I have some time to really be with them. Because it is so difficult for their own mother to slow down from all the duties of parenting, I who have less responsibility for them and for household duties here as their grandmother, here to just enjoy them, I have opportunities to really be with them. noticed something that illustrates to me what Caryll Houselander describes about recognizing Christ. 

 Children so enjoy our presence in whatever little bits, even if it is just our being there doing the o so many things that adults do around the children. But when a grownup takes the time to enjoy playing with them and entering their world, which for our little girls, is a pretend world of little plastic horsies or piggies or other of their many farm animal characters to which they twitter away like happy chirping birds. Today it may be farm animals, another day making wooden spoons sing and dance like dolls with sticker faces and wrap around makeup skirts and whatever else catches their fancy as they make believe endless scenarios. 

 When I served them toast and apple chips for a snack this morning, they lit up with the stellar idea that I was their waitress at a nearby restaurant. Taking their orders diligently, recording them on a sticky chit, and serving them with real life formality brought such happiness to their little hearts. Then later, letting them use my arm as drawbridge for entering dignitaries, human or animal, in a castle and moat game they invented, brought massive giggles of joy. 

These two are almost always joyful, but something so much more comes forth from their faces and voices when I enter in. Entering in with children is not my natural tendency. I usually get bored very quickly and want to retreat to my own obsessive mental activities which court me mercilessly whenever any invitation arises to really be there with someone else, at the expense of my own self-interest. 

 Within just a few minutes of involving myself in their world, their faces seem to melt as they feel a gush of love toward me. Their faces seem to soften and ripen with a sweet expectant joy. Is she really enjoying playing with us? I know that something is touched inside them and begins to feel the sunshine seeping into the unnoticed parts and start blooming into smiles and a springing life that can only be celebrated, usually with spontaneous snuggling and the sweetest utterances, nannee, nannee, nanneeee, as they unfold with their own beauty toward me. Surely they recognize the presence of love and Lover, the unseen Host in me entering in to stroke their purring souls

Our presence to one another in this loving way is His Presence quickened and recognized in the stranger's heart. This Presence opens the human heart and burst natural understanding, just like when the disciples finally recognize Him along the road to Emmaus, not by His human face, but by the quickening of their human hearts to the presence of this Divine One. Their souls felt the Divine hug and it brought them back to Him.

When Mary took the uphill walk to visit her aging Elizabeth, I believe such a joy came over the waiting heart of her aging cousin, a joy manifested by the leap of her womb toward Mary's, not unlike the gush we feel when we really connect with one another on a sweet and deep level, however brief the encounter. 

The seed had been buried in dirt and waiting dry for some Holy watering. With faithful watering, regular sunshine, a seed long buried, will bud. In time it will peek out and smile, eyes dancing with a love it may not have known had we not shared our Cupful at the opportune time.

Time is all the cup we have.. today.

The soul is not imprisoned in the human body, and cannot really be contained by it. Instead, the human body is like a pulsing funnel, with one end opened tiny as a pinprick and the other, funneling out to infinity, opening to God Who fills it with His Immeasurable Self, to be poured out to others, as in a chain of funnels, larger ones, spilling to lesser ones, until all are filled and filling in this Eternal Link.

Time is our only opportunity to be part of this exquisite gift of co-creation. How carelessly we spill it, day after day..after day.

Teach us to spend our days wisely, carrying You as a chalice to others, those we may least suspect are planted and parched, ready for a drop of your Holiness, to bring forth Life. This is a cup not filled with words of persuasion or knowledge, but with love and entering in. Please forgive us for wasting our time, like so many drops of your Precious Blood spilling on stone. Please help us question our own self-centered and deceptive agendas and know that you are waiting to really visit others who will recognize your Presence in ours, and quicken their hearts back to You.