I spent the weekend at Sevenoaks Retreat Center in Madison for a reunion with some very dear friends. Sevenoaks has special meaning for me. It’s the place where I dived deeper into the courageous and challenging spiritual journey of knowledge of self and God through the Pathwork program. It’s also where I began to trust the overpowering and overwhelming experiences of God’s love flowing through me. And Sevenoaks is where I first made a serious commitment to use my gifts and talents to serve community.
Being there again this weekend only affirmed that commitment.
I know I have a mission. Or, I should say, the mission has me. That’s what I was told during my missionary service orientation in Mexico City last August. And I know these words are truth.
I also know this passion for my mission did not come from my ego mind. It came from what I would call the Spirit of divine love. A love that has awakened my heart to the needs and the pain of the “other.”
I hear friends — good and caring people — voice concerns about how the influx of Hispanic immigrants is affecting our economy, affecting our lives, and I wonder, how can I explain what I’ve experienced? What I’ve seen in the Other? What I know about how our country has contributed to the economic situation in Latin America? How our economy would falter without the contributions of these hardworking immigrants? About what it really means to be hungry and in danger?
Mostly, how can I explain that when we look at the other and feel fearful or lacking, we are in illusion?
Yes, my heart has awakened.
Sometimes it feels impossible to hold it all. To know the pain of others in my heart. But this weekend at Sevenoaks I was reassured that I am not holding it alone. All I need do is listen and follow the call. Take the next right step. But it’s not easy.
The question I must ask myself time and again is this: In whatever I am doing, thinking, or expressing, am I in love’s flow? Or am I in my fear? Will I spend my life worrying about whether there will be enough? Or will I trust the transformative Love of God to support me and give me what I need as I listen and follow as best as I can? The kind of trust I witnessed in those I served.
I choose to trust.
I trust that if enter the flow of seeing the divine in the other and open my heart, I will in turn receive much more than I have given. I’ve already experienced this. Especially in Texas and Mexico. Why wouldn’t it continue?
How about you?
Will your soul be enriched by the other?
How will your heart respond?
Will you allow yourself to look into another’s eyes, listen to their story, feel their pain, and recognize your Self?
This weekend I was reminded of the Prayer of St. Francis. It’s a tough one to live by. But I say it anyway, trusting that it’s quietly transforming me. Along with those whose lives I touch.