Being Dust: Daily Reflection 3

The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4, NRSV

We confess what is broken because we yearn to be whole. This is less about a God who needs our confession, and more about humanity that needs to rekindle an awareness of what is truly sacred. God’s breath into the dust of our lives means that we are made of dust divine– ashes to ashes, dust to dust. From where we come we will return. Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Being Dust: Ash Wednesday

Reflect: 

  • What hopes for wholeness do you have in your relationships this Lenten season?
  • What does it mean to rekindle an awareness of the sacred in your life?
  • Prayerfully dwell in the text above from Job 33:4.  What is God’s invitation to you in this text?

SACRED INVITATION

Lenten Practice: Centering Prayer
Daily Act: Focusing on the source of all life awakens us to our connectedness with all life. Reach out to someone today who needs a sense of belonging. Invite someone to your home for a meal, or to your church.
Weekly Prayer Phrase:

I DWELL IN YOU AS THE SOURCE OF ALL LIFE.

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

“You who are first and the last, the living and the dead and the risen again; you who gather into your exuberant unity every mode of existence; it is you to whom my being cries out with a desire as vast as the universe; ‘In truth you are my Lord and my God.’” -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The whole spiritual life is a pull toward unity: unity with our true selves, others, God, and creation. Through spiritual practices like centering prayer, we dwell in that space that awakens the oneness impulse within us. We begin to see our connection with all other life as more than theory. It is the way we live God’s vision for our world. The peaceable kingdom we are called to co-create resides in each oneness impulse lived.

This is why invitation is such a holy act. In western church culture, invitation carries a lot of baggage from religious proselytizing that has felt diminishing and dehumanizing at times. We wonder: what is the motive here? What is the agenda?

It is a shame that this is the case. In a society that can be so lonely and isolating, invitation is a powerful way to live God’s oneness vision together. It is sacred because it is about belonging. Rather than dehumanizing because of a hidden agenda, authentic invitation always honors the full worth of others in a truly mutual way. Despite how resistant we have become to anything that feels too much like proselytizing, we all deeply crave real invitation to what is most meaningful about this life we share.

This is at the core of the purpose of Lent. It is a season for stripping false distances and getting closer to the heart of things, which leads closer to your heart… and his… and hers… and every other heart that beats wild desire for deeper connection so often subdued because of the risk of being real. What if I’m not accepted for who I truly am? is the fear that drives so many false-self actions. Life in God’s Spirit reveals another way- where all belong in love to God and one another. This is the invitation we yearn to receive.

Let this spirit of invitation emerge naturally within you. As you dwell in God as the source of all life notice who you feel drawn toward. How is the pull toward unity coming to life in you? Who do you yearn to belong with? When you pay attention to these inner movements, you may be surprised. You may feel drawn to someone you don’t know or hardly know or wish you didn’t know. You may feel drawn to someone you think you know really well but realize how you have become casual or clumsy in a relationship in need of renewal.

Pay attention to this inward union pull.
Allow it come to life through you anywhere, everywhere.
Dare to release a sacred invitation and see where it may lead.

It is about deepest life in God’s Spirit coming to expression in the world. It is about wholeness. It is about restoring worth. It is about paying attention to how we are called to belong to one another. It is about the world as it could be.

EACH ONE: A MYSTERY

Lenten Practice: Centering Prayer
Daily Act: Practice holy listening with another person. Give them the space and time to share what is going on in his or her life. Be lovingly curious toward another life.
Weekly Prayer Phrase:

I DWELL IN YOU AS THE SOURCE OF ALL LIFE.

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

This morning I want to let the wise Sufi poet Rumi do the talking. All I will say is what has been said so many times before. When you quiet your heart for a moment and peer inside the vastness of your own being, you will stand on the threshold of worlds within! It’s awe evoking enough to see your own internal expanse, but what is even more glorious and soul satisfying is how you begin to see every person you meet as a carrier of the same type of immense spaciousness within their own soul.

Each one: a mystery. Each one: a container of worlds within. So many spaces of beauty left unexplored in one another. This is the pilgrimage I want to take: into the cavernous hearts of others, into a landscape I couldn’t describe if I tried. The goal here isn’t words anyway, but a silent, reverent, attentive listening. What could this world be like if we saw each one in this holy, precious way?

Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make sense any more.
-Rumi

Give us the inner listening
that is a way in itself
and the oldest thirst there is.
-Rumi

There is a way between voice and presence
Where information flows.
In disciplined silence it opens.
With wandering talk it closes.
-Rumi

Friend, we’re traveling together. Throw off
Your tiredness. Let me show you one tiny spot
Of the beauty that can’t be spoken.
-Rumi

Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.
-Rumi

Try to see a treasure in everyone.
-Rumi

They say there is a doorway from heart to heart, but what is the use of a door when there are no walls?
-Rumi

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone’s soul heal.
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.
-Rumi

Love calls- everywhere and always.
-Rumi