In Her Pocket…

I know a man who was walking down an old country road looking for his Mother. He searched up and down the road not seeing Her, but then, off in the distance, in the opposite direction he had been traveling he sees Her. The man tells me…

I began to run toward her as She began to run toward me. She was so much faster and as we approached, I realized She was so much larger. When She was with me, She had become so much larger that she simply scooped me up in the palm of Her hand and…

He was laughing as he told me this and I couldn’t help but join in his joy.

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…she placed me in the pocket of Her dress. She was not angry that I had wandered off, but neither did She speak. She only continued Her walk down the road.

From inside Her pocket, I tried to see through the weave of the fabric as to where we were going, but could not make out any details. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. Eventually, I settled back and was simply comforted to be safe in Her pocket. Then a series of changes began to occur…

I soon realized that where She had placed me was not in Her pocket, but instead, was the wound in His side. She had placed me into Her Son. I entered more deeply and heard so clearly the beating of His heart. I rested there. Such peace. I actually began to wonder if I had been here when the spear had pierced His side… and then it did! As though a second time, but as it retreated, the wound was healed. The Son spoke, “You have always been with me.” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. We were made in Him.

We have always been with Him. We have always been in Him and He in us. He showed me how, as we travelled further back, to when he was a child. And further to when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. I entered more deeply into Him, until I was clinging to His Heart. His heartbeat was mine. I would die should His heartbeat stop.

He took me even further back — and this happened so quickly — to when He was Light… and then it all abruptly stopped, and in a great reversal of those scenes, I was returned to the road.

“Oh, to have gone further into that Light!” He said this with such deep longing.

I had so many questions for this man, but not enough words to ask them. So when he had finished his story, I came back to the spear. “We were in Him when the spear pierced His side?” I asked, trying to more fully understand. “Yes! As I said, while clinging to his heart, I realized that I would die should he die. And that’s just it. He died and I died with Him. And His Mother took me out of her pocket, and I was alive again to continue to walk the road until its end.

“Where does that road lead?”

“The Light.”

Louise at Sixteen

I’m always early. Always have been. Not entirely sure why, but it comes with a couple of perks, especially when traveling through airports. The best seat at the gate, no rushing about, and an outlet should you need to charge a phone. It also gives you the opportunity to watch everyone else running about.

Today, I watched folks jockeying for positions in lines so that they could get through security faster, chatting up airline desk attendants attempting to score an upgrade, and the occasional grouch, who no matter the situation, is going to find that one thing. And then there was… well, I don’t know her name, but she looked like a Louise, so Louise it is.

Louise was at least seventy, she appeared to have difficulties with balance–her gait was almost a stumble at every step–hair gray, and a bit overweight, but who am I to talk about that one. I watched Louise and I watched all the other travelers around me. What struck me about Louise is that, unlike everyone else, Louise wasn’t catching a flight this morning. Louise was cleaning. Going behind all of us, wiping up our spills, picking up our trash, wiping our fingerprints off the windows, mopping floors that we had tracked up, etc. As I watched her, I wondered if anybody else actually saw her (the fact that I did does not make me special, it was just me doing the people watching thing). What I wondered about Louise: I wondered what she was like at sixteen.

I saw a young girl in a pastel dress, with white socks (a bit of lace around the top), and shiny black shoes. I saw a girl trying to be a woman with her hair pulled back, a bit of color on her cheeks, and a smile to break the boys’ hearts. I saw a future unfolding and then I wondered again: when she was sixteen, did she see herself at seventy cleaning up after me as I passed through some random airport? Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a custodial job. Had one myself for three years before going off to seminary. It is honest “clean” work, but I just wondered about Louise at sixteen. Is this how she saw life working out for her? I doubt it. Would she like to be boarding one of the hundreds of planes she sees departing everyday? Taking some exotic trip? Getting away from it all if for only a few days? I’m certain of it.

I saw a young girl in a pastel dress. She pushed her cleaning cart through an “Employees Only” door and disappeared. That young girl disappeared. I wonder if she thinks the same thing.

The Imitation of Christ Project: Bk. 3, Ch. 28

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STRENGTH AGAINST SLANDER 

THE VOICE OF CHRIST

MY CHILD, do not take it to heart if some people think badly of you and say unpleasant things about you. You ought to think worse things of yourself and to believe that no one is weaker than yourself. Moreover, if you walk in the spirit you will pay little heed to fleeting words. It is no small prudence to remain silent in evil times, to turn inwardly to Me, and not to be disturbed by human opinions. Do not let your peace depend on the words of men. Their thinking well or badly of you does not make you different from what you are. Where are true peace and glory? Are they not in Me? He who neither cares to please men nor fears to displease them will enjoy great peace, for all unrest and distraction of the senses arise out of disorderly love and vain fear.

The Imitation of Christ Project: Book 3, Chapter 27

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SELF-LOVE IS THE GREATEST HINDRANCE TO THE HIGHEST GOOD 

THE VOICE OF CHRIST

MY CHILD, you should give all for all, and in no way belong to yourself. You must know that self-love is more harmful to you than anything else in the world. In proportion to the love and affection you have for a thing, it will cling to you more or less. If your love is pure, simple, and well ordered, you will not be a slave to anything. Do not covet what you may not have. Do not possess anything that can hinder you or rob you of freedom.

It is strange that you do not commit yourself to Me with your whole heart, together with all that you can desire or possess. Why are you consumed with foolish sorrow? Why are you wearied with unnecessary care? Be resigned to My will and you will suffer no loss.

If you seek this or that, if you wish to be in this place or that place, to have more ease and pleasure, you will never rest or be free from care, for some defect is found in everything and everywhere someone will vex you. To obtain and multiply earthly goods, then, will not help you, but to despise them and root them out of your heart will aid. This, understand, is true not only of money and wealth, but also of ambition for honor and desire for empty praise, all of which will pass away with this world.

The place matters little if the spirit of fervor is not there; nor will peace be lasting if it is sought from the outside; if your heart has no true foundation, that is, if you are not founded in Me, you may change, but you will not better yourself. For when occasion arises and is accepted, you will find that from which you fled and worse.