Each aspect of the journey surprised me.
The invitation, my agreement to join in the
journey and then, ofcourse, the outcome-in-the-making
continues to surprise and delight me.
Isn’t that a significant part of the adventure of
this life, the one we are now living?
I set a goal in September that I continued into
October and I imagine will now simply become a
part of my life. It has hovered around my life
for a while, but it is only since September
that we have become intimate.
My goal was to pray contemplatively every day.
Contemplative prayer is a grand tradition which
crosses many faiths. Anything that crosses
faiths attracts me since I am a student
of onenessmore than anything else. Oneness
being that place where faiths cross, where
there isn’t an “either-or” or volleying
about of judgment upon one another’s faith,
there is simply faith.
Today my journey prior to my time of prayer
brought me to Brother Lawrence, a long ago monk
who often mentored younger or less experienced
journeyers. This morning Brother Lawrence took
me as his mentee when he gave me these words:
“Many things are possible for the person who
has hope. Even more is possible for the person
who has faith. And still more is possible for
the person who knows how to love. But everything
is possible for the person who practices
I wrote his words on a white sheet of paper and
moved across my house to my kitchen table: place
of baking and eating and laughing and writing
and prayer. I sat to write-pray contemplatively
and some interesting awarenesses
came to the surface.
I focused primarily on “Hope”, a sort of gateway
to the “all three”. I wrote, “Am I hopeful? Do I
approach things hopefully? Hmmmm. Not so much
lately. Maybe usually, but not so much lately
as I have been simmering in grouchdom lately.
I have been grumbly and busy and I forget
about being hopeful.
I requested, “Please, please fill my heart
with hopefulness, hope for possibilities, hope
for filling of faith, hope for vision and knowing
of what purpose I am to fulfill in this exact
place in which I have been divinely assigned,
specifically… hope… hope… hope…. hopefulness…so
that my faith can become more vivid than my
grumbly affect and especially so that I can
remember to breathe love into every
exchange of energy this day and every day.”
I continued to write and then I began to
sketch: a rough draft of a painting. The
painting-to-be will incorporate hope, faith,
love alongside awe (a topic of thought and
contemplation from last week) and gratitude,
my longest ongoing practice and the
foundation for my spiritual life.
My questing took me deeper.
I found answers to questions I hadn’t
considered asking. The action of contemplating,
writing-prayer, drawing, questioning and
stepping into each question with gentleness was
like taking a nice, cold glass of water to
my lips and slowly drinking it.
With that, I drink from my cup of tea. I look
at the candle I lit to start writing this to
Moments ago, I lit the and said aloud, “Hope,
Faith, Love.” I took a moment to sort through
some clothing I wanted to donate or wash or
put away. I continued to speak the words aloud,
knowing my chief aim and appointment was to
speak with you, here, now.
Each step on the journey, each sip of my tea,
each click of my finger on the keys has been
important along the way to sharing this
quiet adventure with you.
I found a book I had been looking for and
that I need for a photo shoot tomorrow. I
thought I would have to buy another one.
I threw one spent candle away but it was
replaced, divinely, so I could use it to
begin sacred time we have been sharing.
I thought I would have to go without
a candle today.
I found a shirt I had wanted to wear
that is Halloween themed so I can feel
especially festive later tonight when
I will be busily rehearsing and practicing
what this time with you has taught me. I
didn’t even remember the shirt
until I found it.
I can see the smile on your face, the
way you are holding your hands, the
recognition in your eyes.
Walt Whitman wrote, “I hear bravuras of
birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of
flames, clacks of sticks cooking my meals.
I hear the sound I love, the sound
of a human voice.”
I hear Brother Lawrence speaking to me,
to you, to us.
I hear the sound of hope, faith and love.
I look at my feet, standing at this exact
point on this exact journey today and am
so grateful you came along in this exact
moment, to stand there, on your
feet, with me.