I’m thinking I’m not the only one to experience the craziness that seems to foist itself on us just when we’re going through the most intense and powerful experiences of life. I’m guessing a lot of you have experienced this, too – people choosing to intrude on your time and space just when your whole being is focused on something life-changing and powerful . And – thinking back on the times when this has happened to me – it occurs to me that the craziness couldn’t have come at a better time for me, actually – when would I have been better fit to deal with it? The birth of my sons and the passing of my mother put everything else in clear perspective: This matters; That doesn’t.
If you’ve ever seen The Waitress (that wonderful movie about the abused and pregnant waitress who discovers her strength in the birth of her daughter), you’ve see an example of craziness trying to intrude on the sacred. The scene that stands out to me in this movie is the scene where she confronts her abusive husband as she holds her new baby in her arms. With quick dispatch she moves his intrusive presence out of her holy space, and then returns her attention where it belongs – to her baby girl.
And then, of course, there’s the Bible story of Nehemiah building his wall (Nehemiah 6: 1-9) –
“…Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
“And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
“Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
“Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
“Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.
“Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.”
Nehemiah deals with the distractions quickly and efficiently, and gets back to finishing his wall.
As we approach Christmas, it might be timely to think, too, about all the distractions and intrusions Mary was dealing with as she was on the verge of giving birth to Jesus. The idea of material lack and limitation tried to intrude on Mary’s sacred time – but I can imagine her whole focus beamed in on the birthing of her baby. While negotiations and conversations about space in a barn were going on around her, I imagine her, unconcerned with the details, focused on the contractions that would soon bring forth Jesus.
I’m thinking we should be like The Waitress, and Nehemiah, and Jesus’ mother. WWTWD? (What would The Waitress do?) Yeah. Let’s be like her.
Intrusions in a Holy Space
There may come a time – a sacred and holy time –
when Malice and Jealousy will holler and yell
and make efforts to get our attention. We will be
living through a rare opportunity, full of challenge
and uplift – transition and transformation, birth
and rebirth – and as the angels of Love gather
around to support us – Envy may demand
to be the focus, center, and star of the story.
Ego may stamp its foot, and spread rumors
and lies, and play the victim. Thoughtless
and oblivious to the challenges we’re facing,
Envy may push you or me aside
to stand in the spotlight, or expect us
to entertain it and invite it for dinner.
And if this should happen – let’s keep thought
focused on what is true and holy and important –
honor what is worthy of our time and heart.
Don’t let’s be distracted by Hate or Greed
or Envy – these things are not deserving of our energy.
Love will lead us through the wilderness – will help
us address the lies that need to be addressed,
quickly, without fanfare and waste, and lead us
upward to meet angel-thoughts. Hope, Peace, Joy.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell