The Journey Called Trust

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

“Give yourself, then, to this divine and infinite life, this mysterious cosmic activity in which you are immersed, of which you are born. Trust it. Let it surge in on you.”
Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism

The gift of disruption,
This angel visitation,
Will not be complete
In the same moment
It arrives.

Now we enter the longer part
Of the journey called
When everything has gone back to normal
But nothing has.
And we carry within us
Something we can’t yet name.

I search for an answer
Looking for the single key
To unlock the door to the future.
It will not come.

I’m as guilty as anyone,
Wanting to see where we are going,
Wanting the outcome to be some version
Of what I think I want it to be.

What is it exactly that I hope for?
What is the deepest, truest thing
That needs to continue or emerge?
How many forms might it take and
What forms might it already be taking?
Will I be present enough to see?

Can I trust the mystery of incarnation enough
To believe that the Holy is always
Coming into life in some new way?

On this long journey,
There is no bypassing
The necessary work
Of tending our inward spaces.
As long as we stay on the surface,
Surface will be all we see.
The invitation is to go deep
Into the dark unknown-
The cave, the womb, the starry night.

Temptations abound of
Avoidance and neglect,
Understandable because
Once you enter,
Nothing stays the same.

Halfway is no way.
Once trust is required
We either journey forward
Or we don’t.
Apathy and cynicism will try to get their way.
Don’t let them.
Healing is engagement.
Incarnation is embodiment.
We give ourselves over to our deep hope
And we are changed.

This fleeting visitation has meant something real
And it is coming to life in you.
Let it grow.
Trust what it will be
Even though you can’t yet see
Or maybe even imagine.
Give your whole self
To the trembling, awe-filled
YES that your heart
Has been yearning
To say.

Now we enter the longer part
Of the journey called

Spiritual Practice: How are you invited to stay with the call of God in your life even when you can’t see where it will lead? Pray for steadiness of heart, deep trust, when uncertainty tempts you to abandon the journey.

How Everything Matters

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

This is what I want to try to say:

How everything, everything matters
How each choice of each moment
Supports or suppresses the creation
Of the kin-dom of God

How the spiritual life is about
A heart in tune with the
Constant dynamic reality
Of the presence of the Holy
In all things
At all times

How the vision is always larger
Than the task and the “how” of the task
Helps or hinders the vision
Accomplishment redefined
In the moment-to-moment making
(And receiving)
Of the kin-dom we seek

How the future we strain to see exists right now
In these concrete details, realities, bodies before us
How the future is not manufactured but discovered
In the places we are in and
In the people we choose to love in these places

How a heart fully awake is a heart at prayer
How love, no matter how foolish, is the best strategy
How the inefficient way is sometimes most efficient
When the aim is alignment
With the “slow work”* of God

How everything, everything matters

*Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Seeds of Tomorrow

Lenten Practice: Lectio Divina
Daily Act: The Living Word speaks anew in each generation. What are your hopes for those who will come after you? What are you doing to live a life oriented toward that future? Do something today that will make a difference to God’s unfolding story in the future.
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.


by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

I believe in planting trees, even if I am not in a place long enough to watch them grow.

When we moved to Ohio, our first act as new homeowners was to plant a young maple in the front yard. Twenty years from now, the tree will grow large enough to provide shaded relief for the front of the house. It will be a beauty to behold while walking on our block. I have no guarantee that I will be in this exact house on this exact piece of earth twenty years from now, but it still felt worth it to reach down low releasing roots into fertile soil.

I am trying to find a way to say that this is about more than landscaping.
It is about choosing to enact a future I may never fully see because I have a love and hope for those I will never meet.
Sometimes what we do that we will never see is what matters most.

“All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them.” Hebrews 11:13

Immediate gratification is so alluring (and increasingly normative) that it is becoming harder to hold a long view. What of our grandchildren’s grandchildren? What will be the state of the earth when they walk upon it? What stories will they be telling about us, their ancestors? Are our actions now leaving them with a future of hope or despair?

Lent is a time for releasing whatever is getting in the way of the thriving of life made new. It is for finding our way on this journey that crosses the thresholds of time, a way walked by our ancestors and those whose hearts have yet to beat alive with hopes of their own.

May we make our lives the seeds of God’s vision of hope for the whole creation.

It is worth planting what we may never see.