Intrusions in a Holy Space

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

Beliefs and Actions

‎”I care not what you believe; not one atom do I care; the one important thing for me to know is this – that you are entitled to my compassionate consideration; you are entitled to my respect; you are entitled to my applause for all that you do that is in the right direction. You are entitled to my kindest wishes, to my deepest encouragement; and you are entitled to nothing from me but that which means love and charity and loving kindness, and you must not get anything else from me.” – Edward A. Kimball

I came upon the above quote  this morning as I was looking through Kimball’s book, Lectures and Articles on Christian Science, and felt it immediately resonate with me. Kimball’s words ring true, for me, on so many levels.

How many times have discussions about our beliefs led to a place that is the exact opposite of what we espouse to believe?  “I believe that God is love,” we might say, and then find ourselves getting all worked up and angry and unloving when someone disagrees with us about our concepts of “God” and “love.”

I don’t think our beliefs and opinions about stuff are important. I think it’s what we DO with those beliefs and opinions that’s important. If our beliefs – whatever they are – lead us to be kinder, gentler and more loving – if our beliefs lead us to express integrity and wisdom in our lives – then they’re cool. If we allow our beliefs to lead us the opposite direction – towards anger, hate, bigotry, and condemnation – that is not so cool.

In Prose Works, Mary Baker Eddy writes:  “We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world’s evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, – determined not be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is…”

And to this, I say “Amen.”

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading to the same place, so it doesn’t matter which path you take. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone that his or her path is wrong. –  Hindu proverb