Do you feel guilty when you miss church? It is a guilt trip for me. I often think of church as an obligation not a celebration. And Jesus cannot find his way into a heart locked in duty rather than opened by love.
A friend recommended a sage named Mooji. He asks, "How can you meet the lord of the heart without imagination?" You cannot "see" Love (in church or elsewhere) anymore than you can see God in the white photograph.
Or can you? If people can imagine Jesus in a cloud maybe they can imagine him on a blank page.
What is it that, bypassing the mind, "requires no effort to be?" What kind of imagination does it take to encounter this "lord of the heart," this Jesus whose radical loving presence changed the world?
On our brief life journey there are few questions more important & few that are harder to stick with. Jesus was & is Love's embodiment. Our mind cannot easily capture such answers so most of us default to other's ideas never finding our own.
What about the white space between these letters? I never notice because "nothing" is there. Blank white is dismissed in favor of what "fills the page." Is the white space nothing or everything?
"As long as we conceive of ourselves as a person then there will be things to be done and undone," Mooji says, "something to reach for, something to leave, something to fix, something to change, something to become." What about the white space where there is nothing to be done? Must we always fill it? Who are we outside our personhood?
It is so hard to escape flooding our lives with frenetic activity. The invitation to listen for the spaces between notes seems impossible if not ridiculous.
Life turns on relationships with others & with our environment. In drawing close, lovers of all kinds also experience isolation born from the skin's spiritual boundaries. "All of us suffer from our own mind, our own projections, our own identities," Mooji suggests. "it is this that gives us the sense of separation..."
What happens when we consider Jesus' invitation to pray for our enemies & to give unselfishly to others? Fear extends its tentacles:What if I give too many of my things away? Will I have enough left to live as I want? What if I commit my heart to another? Will it (like flesh) be wounded beyond healing?
We load up on things, guard our hearts & thus experience a deeper poverty. Jesus says give love & you will be replenished. Mostly we do not believe that. Jesus says, pray for your enemies. I know few "Christians" who do that. Yet, loving caregivers feel God's presence.
My favorite line in Mooji's talk is one of his last. "What keeps you you and me me? Who made this law? Who said it is true?"
Are we really so separate?
-Reverend Erie Chapman