This morning I was sore from yesterday’s Body Pump session and I had a headache. So, what happened? I was browsing a food and fitness blog, of all things, and came across a post where the author was making the point “It’s a choice.” This woman was talking about getting her butt in gear and doing her workout despite not feeling 100% at the start, and about paying attention and eating right, even when she was in a place where she could just as easily have gone on a binge. But, she finally realizes, it’s always a choice.
So true. And so, I got dressed, told my headache that things would be better “real soon now” and my hamstrings that “a good stretch is just what you need” and headed out for a Zumba class. It was tough to get through, but I feel so much better now that I’ve worked through the sore. It is a choice.
On the way home from the gym, I was listening the “On Point” as they slogged through the civil war within the Republican Party. You can agree with me or not, but it certainly is sounding like a civil war to an outsider. At one point, one of the guests was talking about how concerned the Republicans should be when businessmen are traipsing over to the White House to try to resolve problems like immigration reform and health care.
It seems to me that commerce and common good will drive policy, no matter what is legislated. Remember all those battles over English only? If someone comes to this country, THEY MUST COMMUNICATE IN ENGLISH. You know — no way we need to pay to have government documents in Spanish (or French, Korean, Japanese or Chinese); And what has happened?
Take a look at packaging in the grocery store, or any packaging for that matter. At least in my area, most have a side in English and a side in Spanish. It’s become so common, sometimes I forget which language I’m reading. I’ve learned a lot of spanish vocabulary by just shopping.
Or think about how the AFL-CIO flip-flopped on immigration reform. At some point they accepted that their stance on immigration was actually detrimental to laborers.
Sometimes, the right thing happens for the strangest reasons.
It has been interesting to watch the reactions as the 3rd season of Downton Abbey unfolds. No doubt, they will lose many viewers because of the events that unfold. I’ve not viewed ahead, so I’m only still angry that they killed off Lady Sybil (one of my favorite characters). I understand there is more grief to come. And so I mutter to myself that is is fiction, so the writers should think about keeping certain characters alive and kicking… followed by wondering if these stories write themselves at times and if they have a life of their own, then maybe there is no other way. I’m betting I won’t be pleased with the end of the season.
The end: This doesn’t seem to fit in with other posts on this blog. Can’t find good tags for it. Journey’s are funny that way.
Last week I had the opportunity to glimpse my 3rd grand child. I was invited along to the doctor visit to see the ultrasound. 10 weeks. About the size of a prune. Little heart beat visible. Itsy waved little arms around. You could pick out arms and the beginnings of fingers. Little legs.
Wonder. That’s the only way to describe my reaction. Wonder! This event went well beyond anything I could have anticipated. The only other time I remember something similar was standing on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and understanding the definition of “breathtaking.”
How seldom we experience real wonder. This is not an emotion that can be called up at will. To me, it’s a gift. In those moments of watching that black and white image on the screen and absorbing the reality that I was seeing a new life — that he was moving around with a beating heart and tiny fingers — I felt that God was standing with me, delighted in all She saw. In the days since, I have been brought back to that place again and again. A line from a song we use at church rolls through me – “For the wonder of who I am, I praise You.” It’s like, well, I begin to comprehend at a deeper level those words that I mouth – “I am loved. We are wonderful creations.” Even – “Jesus died for me.”
The only explanation I have is that this in this moment of wonder, the world was stripped away and I became aware of being in the presence of God. And that changes everything. That is the beginning of prayer.That is the place where my heart can be open and can be changed.
I read back over this and I fear I have babbled. And in some ways, I’m sure I have as there are no words to really wrap around the experience. And so, I’ll just leave the words as a pointer while I return to just be in that place again for a bit.
I was just catching up on Creo en Dios! after vacation and the week of reentry. The most recent post, Inviting Jesus In, certainly caused a flashback for me. It brought me back to a penance service over 10 years ago. At the time, I felt a dead inside as I think is possible while still breathig and walking and trying to raise a family. As I sat there (with a priest who is a friend) I found I couldn’t even start to find words. All I could say was an odd phrase: “Lord, widen the parameters.” It was a way of saying “Yes” and opening a door. A way of trying to become open to the possibility that life could be different. A way of trying to get under the shell I had built to protect myself from feeling the pain (or joy) of my existence.
As Susan observes, once you make the call, there’s little if any chance of going back. Jesus is already on the way. It’s not too late after all. When I asked for that help, I should have asked for a way to help me hold on to my hat. I was aware in that space that there was a 3rd person. It felt like I could reach out and touch Jesus sitting there with us. Within 30 minutes of leaving the confessional, I have to say that my life took a hard right turn and it’s truly not been the same since.
That’s not to say it’s been easy. Or the walk as been straight and well lit. Or that I haven’t tried to close the door again more than once. I asked for God to open that Pandora’s Box, as it were, and have found that the gifts inside can be seen as both good and bad, and that God will walk with me as I seek to deal with each of them.
Jesus indeed told me – “Wake up, child.”
Yesterday I found myself writing on paper, not on the website. Some things simply do not belong here. They are too specific, too personal. As I wrote, I found my thoughts took real shape. They became more focused. I would write a sentence and read it back to myself. Sometimes I found that it didn’t ring true, so I would scratch it out (I write in ink). Sometimes, though, the words on the page surprised me. I couldn’t mark them out because they were too true. Hard truth sometimes. Comforting truth sometimes. Things revealed to me by the act of writing words. Things revealed by reading the words I wrote.
I also found that as I put certain painful things into words and into full sentences they became much less painful. In many cases, as I constructed the sentences, I found that what I was talking about seemed to gain a life of its own and could be set free. I could let go of it.
I’m not trained in theology, but the use of The Word to reference Jesus is obviously no mere coincidence. Jesus is a lot like my written words. God’s Love spelled out in a person – The Word. I’d bet Jesus didn’t understand the whole story until it was all written down as His life. Our pastor thinks that Jesus only finally had full understanding himself at the Resurrection. The story all written out can finally be understood.
Words are powerful. The Word is the most powerful.
Last night I caught most of “The Spoken Word” on GPB – a talk by a historian on which facts are true in The DaVinci Code. It was interesting… and I did find out a bit more about some of the “lost gospels.”
The strength of The DaVinci Code still seems to be 2-fold: a fun, interesting mystery/puzzle AND it tapped into the missing, or at least buried, Feminine Divine. I really think that the second is the reason for the popularity and the talk. Whether or not people will admit it out loud, deep inside Christians have a sense that the current mainline Christian view is skewed. It makes some folks really angry that one can conceive of God as Mother. It makes some folks sad that we don’t often see the image of God(dess) as Mother/Sister. The common thread is that this idea really gets folks heated up… it touches a nerve somewhere.
The author of this book stayed away from theology – but did offer some assistance on where to look for the Gospel of Phillip and the Gospel of Mary. They will go onto my reading list.