All fear is past and only love is here.
All fear is past, because its source is gone, and all its thoughts gone with it. Love remains the only present state, whose Source is here forever and forever. Can the world seem bright and clear and safe and welcoming, with all my past mistakes oppressing it, and showing me distorted forms of fear? Yet in the present love is obvious, and its effects apparent. All the world shines in reflection of its holy light, and I perceive a world forgiven at last.
Father, let not Your holy world escape my sight today. Nor let my ears be deaf to all the hymns of gratitude the world is singing underneath the sounds of fear. There is a real world which the present holds safe from all past mistakes. And I would see only this world before my eyes today.
A few years ago I attended a meeting at a local church. This was my experience.
This was the ending of a church and I attended only because I thought there might be some hope of renewing the spirit which first united this group. It was a place dedicated to unconditional love and nonjudgment, but over the past few months this ideal was set aside and conflict became the purpose most strongly pursued and being right became the goal. I hated to see it go because it had been a place where folks who were not especially welcomed anyplace else around here could join in worship, and without this church, there is no place for them to go.
I’m not sure what I thought I had to offer, but I had the intention of simply being the presence of Love. I could at least be supportive of the people I had come to know. A local minister who wanted to lease or buy the building was also there and pushing hard for the little congregation to take its last breath so that he could move in. He will bring a ministry which feels opposite in every way, a hell and brimstone kind of church. He feels strongly that gay people are going to hell and didn’t hesitate to say so. Many of the people that made up the congregation of the little church are gay.
When asked about this he tiptoed around the subject and finally professed to love gay people but hate their sin placing them in the same category with murders and rapists. He didn’t see anything wrong with saying this to the gay people sitting there at the table. I finally got a word in edgewise and chose this moment to say goodbye. When I left I was very upset. I am not gay, so it was not about being gay. I would only be upset if I believed in some way that this guy was right. I can’t even come up with the slightest belief in God as being prejudiced against gay people.
I asked the Holy Spirit to help me understand what this was about and to help me see it differently. This went on for hours by the way, because just as I thought it was over I would notice I was replaying the situation and this time I was responding with appropriately cutting remarks, making them sorry that they were so blatantly ignorant and insulting to my friends. Ooooh, it starts to bubble to the surface! As I was more willing to look at my murderous thoughts I found that I was more willing to hear the Holy Spirit.
He helped me see that I was upset by their judgment, then see that in order to forgive their judgment I would have to forgive my own because I was judging them just as surely as they were judging others. I can be sincerely grateful that they helped me to see this in myself. I would much rather look at my judging, as ugly as it is than to keep it buried in my mind and allow it to poison all my relationships.
I also saw that they were rejecting these people and it brought up my fear of being rejected, my sense of unworthiness. If they knew what I believe about God, they would probably kick me out and keep the gays. I could not feel a reaction to being rejected unless I understood that energy. “It takes one to know one” kind of thing. I have rejected people and in fact rejected these people today as soon as I judged them as ignorant and unkind.
Because of what happened in that church that day I had a chance to look within to the dark corners of my heart and shine God’s forgiving light on the judgment, rejection, and hatred I found there. I owe my brothers a great debt of gratitude for their part in this healing. I thought I went there to be of help, but I went there to be helped.
Me: Holy Spirit is there anything else you want me to understand about what happened today?
Holy Spirit: Allow all of it to come up. Do not be concerned about the tears or the sadness. Do not be concerned about what it means. Do not judge what is happening and do not judge yourself for your feelings. Simply accept and allow. Much healing is taking place as you open your heart to Me. Be as the observer, simply watching as the fear, the guilt and the hatred melts away. Already the words they spoke, and the words you thought of speaking have lost their sting for you. The ego would have you go back into the drama, but it holds no appeal now. This is the healing you asked for. It is not necessary that you have an intellectual understanding, only that you have willingness.
After I finished writing this I wondered if it had anything to do with today’s lesson and my eyes fell on this line: Nor let my ears be deaf to all the hymns of gratitude the world is singing underneath the sounds of fear. At first, all I heard that day was the fear, but through my willingness to hear something else, I heard the hymns of gratitude. They were always there, but I had to be willing to listen.