Yesterday on January 6th my daughter, Crystal, reminded me of one of her birth stories that I had told her throughout the years. Trigger warning: too much information? (TMI)
I had to be induced twice before she was born. The first time it was because I was already 2 weeks overdue. I was miserable naturally and cried when Dr. Linda sent me home after a full day of an oxytocin drip. Later that night, I went into semi-active labor and for the next 48 hours simply walked the floors of our home. I could not eat or sleep; needless to say, I became physically exhausted. The doctor said let’s try again; it was Wednesday night. She gave me a Seconal to sleep which was good, because the new IV started promptly at 8a on Thursday morning. By noon, I began to demand that Charles take me home. I consciously remember saying to him, “I wanna go; take me home…NOW!”
I was scared, had never done this before and just wanted OUT of the whole thing. He tried to be understanding—I gave him you-know-what. Poor guy. Crystal was born at 4 that evening.
People of God, we may want out of the whole thing the way I did many moons ago, but we must birth a new way of being at this time in our collective life. Due to this fact, we are now undergoing birth pangs. That is what we witnessed yesterday on the steps of the nation’s capitol. It may feel like freefall or like the sky is falling. While some ask how did we come to the fiasco of yesterday afternoon at the nation’s capitol, others ask, why such limited numbers of law enforcement were present for so many people when Black Lives Matter protestors were met with law enforcement in full riot regalia earlier this year.
It is a humiliation and a reckoning with the truth of who we are as a people. We are just like any other people, fallen and in need of Grace. Without vital connection to the Light of God (which some call enlightenment), we are no worse nor better than any other people or nation. We have been spiritually unhealthy as a nation for quite a long time now, even in the Church, so what we witnessed was to be expected. We experienced physically what already existed energetically. Matter follows energy (or spirit).
Birthing is a hard thing. Do you recall my sermon about the revelation that we are ALL Mary the mother of God? Well, that revelation remains true for each one of us. Some of us say “yes” like Mary did, some say “maybe”, and some say “no!” That is just the way human beings operate and have operated since time immemorial. And even though La Virgen said “yes,” she still had a messy, complicated birthing alone followed by a harried departure to Egypt to protect the new baby. Life is difficult. Period.
These times make it even more important that we learn how to get connected and stay connected to the Divine Source (GOD). What I am saying to you is that you should not be surprised by all that we are undergoing. It may have caught many by surprise, but it has not caught the Divine Source of Life off-guard. Remember WHO you are and keep the main thing, the Main Thing.
What is the Main Thing you might ask? Well only this. That GOD was in Christ reconciling the world to himself and through him has given US the spirit of reconciliation. People are not separate from GOD or each other no matter what they or we may “think.” Because of this truth we are responsible for being like Christ in the world in every aspect of our lives. It is not about our success or failure in this endeavor; it IS about our intentionality to BE Christ to each other and wherever we meet another human being (especially) in our families. If we are children of God, then we ought to look like our Parent…should we not?
Because birthing is a difficult messy business, those of us who know better must do better in terms of getting connected and staying connected to our Source—GOD who resides within us at the soul-level. There are spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, meditation, mindfulness, and others that can help us to get in touch with our souls…where God’s image resides. In this place is where peace and love and joy abound. When you live out of this place, you will find yourself acting from love, with love, for love’s sake. You will be changed. You, then, will change the world around you. We are all connected; we are all One.
This Lent, there will be plenty of opportunity to test and try out for yourself spiritual ways of getting in touch with God that have been used successfully through the centuries. Consider learning a new way. Remember, if we do what we have always done, we will get what we already have. It is time for God’s people to make the main thing, the Main Thing. It is time for something new.