This is the Love to which we are called: to see and be seen into wholeness. The call will keep coming through telephone poles and God disguised as fearful people, until Love conquers all…It’s one love, one God, hidden in plain sight.
I’m giving up thinking for Lent…The type of thinking I’m referring to is the compulsive, problem-solving mechanism that always looks for something wrong to fix. It’s the apparatus that plays life as a chess game in which the mind plots three moves ahead of the present moment…In this pattern, which I call “Game of Thoughts”, shifting worries compete for the iron throne of attention.
What if I responded to the news from a place of love? Not love as syrupy sentiment, but love as the strongest and only transformational agent. Love, not only for those being hurt by current policies, but love also for those creating and supporting the policies, for their healing and freedom. What if, in my own small way, my work is to subvert and disrupt the status quo with unapologetic, irrepressible, unconditional, indefatigable love?
Making space for the mesmerizing glory of an old farm house or a chirping chickadee also makes space in my heart to hold the pain of a world I cannot fix and people whom I cannot save. Inviting joy and wonder into my life is not a betrayal of the suffering. Rather, it’s the life-giving inhale I need in order to exhale compassion and service.
The choice before us is a matter for the heart. What will we do with our judgment? Whether it’s a personal mistake or a political policy that hurts the most vulnerable among us, judgment is always lurking, ready to make enemies within and without… We might discover that the idiot over there bears some resemblance to the one we judge within, and find a way to have some compassion for both.
It seems that we as a species are in a "shoulder season", a time of transition between seasons. We vacillate between what we are becoming and the lesser angels of our past. We are both a fearful, bigoted, selfish lot, and a generous, welcoming, evolving people. And, of course, each of us individually is somewhere on that spectrum, often vacillating between the poles.
We live in a noisy culture. It's little wonder that so many of us feel on edge and don't know where to place our attention, our vital life energy. And this is an essential question. As my spiritual director recently told me: "Love is infinite, but your energy is finite."
We can see thoughts as apparitions. They come and go but have no inherent substance. We are free to believe or disbelieve them, act on them or ignore them.