AN INVITATION

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

An invitation
For you

Today
Right here
Right now
In the middle of everything

In these details
Of this moment
Of this life

No pre-requisites required
Just this simple noticing
Wherever you are

Just a heart opening
Not even sure exactly why
Or to what

Just this sweet unexpected grace
Offered to you
As whatever you most need it to be
Peace
Belonging
Disruption
Hope

Right now
The invitation
Is for you
For right now

You don’t have to go somewhere else
Or be someone else
To receive it

It is in this person
This task
This conversation
This silent awe

What could be more important than this?

There will be other invitations to come
But this one expires
As soon as the moment
Has passed

Each moment arriving
Holding in its open palm
Another invitation
For you
For another
Right-here-right-now
Glimpse
Into the heart of the holy
That is right before you
Right within you
In the middle of everything
Wherever you are

TO BE REAL

By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

Let it be what it is
Don’t rush to fix it
Maybe just try to give it a name
Hold it with honesty
And the assurance of grace
Resist the urgency claim
Find rest in the inefficient

This isn’t about progress
Stand still for a while
Just long enough in one place
To sink in deep

The journey inviting us
May be the one we hadn’t thought to take
That beckons beneath our feet
Beneath the layers of protest in the soul
Over productivity and time

Rest into a different rhythm
A downward way
And forget all thoughts
Just for a while
Of moving forward

Exactly here
Is where the Spirit is speaking
Not in some future moment
But in this one
Let it say what it needs to say
About what is forming within you
And taking a shape you cannot yet see

Let what is real in you be real
And trust for a while
That it will lead to a place deeper
Where beneath the swells
Of whatever feelings emerge
Is a holy source of life
That is about more than
Merely making it through
Or suffocating politeness
Or the need to make it sound ok

Let it be what it is
Just for a while
Just long enough
To really see
What is really real
To practice being brave
To let what feels important
Find its way to the surface
Breaching in the soul
To breathe
To live

And Sometimes This Is How The Spirit Works…

[For my father-in-law, Don McLaughlin, who has always believed the kingdom of God is at the DMV!]

by Katie Harmon-Mclaughlin

And sometimes this is how the Spirit works…

Despite my best attempts at describing and containing and formulating
Even at trying to perfect my practices of prayer…

It happens unexpected
In waves of humbling awareness
That wash over me as grace

Today it was at the DMV
Such an ordinary, human place
Of diverse people waiting together
And in the midst of my busyness
I was forced to stop for a couple sacred minutes
To be part of the waiting community

And impatience gave way to awe
As I listened to the man behind the counter say
Over and over again
As he took pictures for renewed licenses
“Look over here, young lady”
To women who were not particularly young
But smiled instinctively
At the friendliness he shared

And I watched the woman behind the counter
Make jokes with people writing their checks
And a sense of ease filled the place
Because of simple human kindness
And transactions transformed into relationships

And suddenly I saw
I really saw
All the people around me

And deep-love tears filled my eyes
In the middle of the DMV!

And my heart burst open with
GRATITUDE
At this surprising realization
Of the presence of the holy
Here
In this common place

And sometimes this is how the Spirit works
When and where we least expect
Whispering into our daily realities
“Pay attention- I am here.”