Oh, Lord, I have seen the kingdom and it looks so good to me! I am transported to the kingdom when what I say is just what the other needs to hear, when the newest grandchild is experienced as the teacher, when I am filled to overflowing with life and love, when in me there is gratitude and delight and love, when I have the sense of being non-deserving and of overwhelming privilege all at the same time, when I feel loved and forgiven, deserved or not. I have had that full-to-overflowing feeling recently; the sense that there is way too much presence for me to speak of. I, too, have felt the love. I await the fullness of the next experience, the resting in, the tears of an undeserving, very human person. As the year turns the corner into fall everything within me is expecting the same kind of experience, anticipating this happening to me this day, right now. Have you not primed the pump, Lord, by guiding me towards freedom from anxiety, slowing me way down, loving me and helping me, finally, to be able to feel that love?
Will there not be many more of us in the coming weeks and months and years who have experienced the kingdom? Will we not be birthed along with so many others as beacons for others to follow to the one true God? Isn’t that what this birth canal is really about? I was writing this summer about feeling like we humans are in a birth canal, a dark place where we are being moved along to God-knows-where, because we can’t see what’s ahead and we’re very fearful of it. Isn’t that what a fetus feels as it is pushed into life? “What’s happening?” “Where am I going?” “Am I going to be all right?” Just maybe we are being born into a whole new consciousness where love is the guiding principle and our job will be to spread it throughout the world. It certainly is the one thing that is most lacking in our world.
What if the very promise of Jesus’ birth, teachings, suffering and resurrection were fully realized? What if we were able to feel the love that surrounds us and enfolds us? What if the fullness of God’s presence in the moment is the thing that we are most aware of? Wouldn’t that be grand? Wouldn’t that change each of us to the very roots of who we are? Wouldn’t we just so naturally reach out to everyone else in the same manner?
The kingdom is not some place where we go after we die; it lives among us, perhaps in the spaces between us and even in the spaces between the atoms and molecules that constitute our bodies. If we could see the interconnectedness of all life, the web of Spirit that binds us together, if we could really feel that we’re all in this ship we call Earth together, if we knew the subtleties of creation itself, then we might know that the kingdom is as close as the air we breathe and the people who co-occupy this space with us. We might then feel the love and connectedness that binds us, that we are not really in competition with each other, but we are totally interrelated and interconnected, so that the reality is that what affects you affects me and visa versa. That knowledge is the basis of all that happens in the kingdom, grounded in love, supported by presence, forgiven for all.
The least blip in the least molecule
resounds in every molecule there is.
The least hiccup on one end of a chord
travels to the other.
So intricately woven together are we,
that what happens to one, affects us all.
Was a child left homeless? The stars shed tears.
Did a man lose his job? The sap of the trees runs slower.
Was there a bad storm? The rivers back up.
Did I hurt another? The universe recoils.
Such is the fabric of life, what affects one affects all.
Of course we live as if we are independent of it all.
But ask God, the great weaver of life, if what I say isn’t true. Ask God about the chords and threads that connect us.
In this great, unified system we are connected to all life.
To the trees, the rocks, other tribes, all animals, all insects, all life. Imagine living out this knowledge:
Would we weep at every death? Celebrate every birth?
Feel the flow of all life? All transformation?
This great truth lies at the heart of our existence. Will we live it?