This morning in the Secret Place (that Holy moment when one truly senses a nearness beyond religious discipline) the teacher in me was reawakened. Perhaps I simply recognized the Teacher.
Life experience is the tool of the Teacher; capturing what the Teacher says is the skill that daily begs of me and thus the joy of writing.
First, and usually too early in the morning, I sense a profound honesty, a transparency that by grace, reaches beyond my own inadequacies and historical demonstration of darkness; there seems a spiritual tension, a reality that truth remains yet to be unpacked.
Life is felt once more!
That Life was instilled in me as a child. When I do not know, but knowing has always been a part of my being. I do know that God loves me and sharing that love is my greatness contribution to this globe. When I share the love of God, when I know that a life has been truly touched by the Christ in me, the joy of that moment far surpasses any role played heretofore!
At the risk of losing the more religious of my readers, Skin Horse, in Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit calls it becoming real! “…once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.“
How do I know that I am loved, only because I love others! The Apostle John said it this way, “… everyone who loves the Father loves his children as well.” I Jn 5:1 NIRV.
This verse, read again this a.m., has always been precious to me. You see, within a year or two after I had my life changing moment with God, January 3, 1973, I had been invited back into the church. Perhaps too rapidly, I was introduced to the challenges of congregational leadership. I awoke one Sunday morning with questions as to this new and developing vocation. Was this something God was doing or merely a new venture? At that time, my heart was still tender, given the remedy that grace had offered me some few months before.
My question of the Father that morning: “how will I know going forward that this is real?” “Are you doing what you are doing out of love for others?” was the reply! My answer was a resounding, yes! I recall the relief as I finished shaving and began dressing that Sunday morning.
Now 44 years into this journey, the challenge is the same: am I doing this out of love, and do I truly love others above self? That in a nutshell is the Gospel, the love of the Father, as demonstrated in the Christ, the Word made flesh.
This morning I revisited that place, reexamining that Love. I’ll call it a manger moment!
Too lengthy for a morning post; perhaps I’ll make an attempt at a series:
New Life and True Intimacy-A Personal Companionship with “Christ Alone”
The Veil– When the Cares of Life Distract Me
The Curtain of Separation– The Fabric of My Distance
Religion– Self Justification of that Distance
Philosophy– The Rationale for My Distance
Politics– Herding vs. Hurting
The Place of Separation – The Consequence
The Crisis – Love Again Revealed
“There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy’s stocking, with a sprig of holly between his paws, the effect was charming.” 1
To be continued.
1 The Velveteen Rabbit, HOW TOYS BECOME REAL by Margery Williams, Illustrations by William Nicholson, Doubleday and Company., Garden City, New York.