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

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.”

THE DEEPEST CALL

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

Do not forget why you are here
And who called you to this place.
Do not let the fire for justice within you
Diminish to smoldering ash.
Walk tall and with strength
Gather up your courage and conviction
Along with your questions
And every unknown unresolved.

Do not let the despair temptation
Overwhelm your God-pulsing heart.
Do not resist the prophetic edge
That pierces our fear-vulnerable spaces
Which prefer to be safe.

Bring light by being light
In every darkness place you’re in.

No matter what happens from here
No matter the occasion for hopelessness
No matter the anxiety surrounding
Do not forget-

There IS a vision greater
There IS a Spirit moving
There IS a deeper yearning
That means something real.
There IS a God creating
And recreating still
Who continues to call out
In the caverns of your soul
From the very heart of a
Suffering, sacred world.

There is yet work to do.
Oneness means you already belong
In every place you are in.
There are innumerable ways
To respond to the
Deepest call in your heart
That brought you here.
It still matters.
It is still calling.
It is still longing to be lived.

This holy unfolding is not
Is never
Finished.