• Evening star
    LIFE,  SPIRITUALITY

    Finding Hope in An Evening Star

    A single star shimmers in the glow out my window during evening meditation, perfectly placed by an invisible hand.

    I dwell inside, praying and meditating while fellow house-dwellers make distant sounds from their music and TVs, during the quarantine.

    I wonder why I never noticed that star before? I have sat here many times, but usually reading with the lights on. Tonight I am practicing abstaining from TV, feeling more and more of my body, in this place and time, at this unprecedented time in history.

    COVID 19 spreads quickly and governments react daily with more restrictions, death counts. It doesn’t feel real, in this country, but it is here just as much as anywhere else. I do this meditation for the hope I feel, to contribute something.

    I return to my breathing, feeling the blood moving through me so fast, humming, a marvel. The Spirit embodies the breath, or the breath, the body. It moves quickly, imperceptively. To find it you have to slow down, stay with it. The mind finds the star again.

    I want to believe the star means something. That it has a message for me.

    I feel convicted that I need to stop making more of this than it is. And start noticing things like my breath. Like the invisible hand, the imperceptible.

    But I can’t stop noticing the beauty all around me!

    I’ve already lost the star in my study of it, talking about it! When I first noticed it, it was an instant aha! Beauty. Appreciation. No content. No analysis. Just the star and me. When I put words to it, it lost its mystery. Its beauty.

    I return to the star. And breathe. Can I just sit and be with the star?

    I can’t do it!!

    In my mal-adjusted, socially addicted, reactive nature, I cannot cope without some kind of interactivity – some kind of interpretation, conversation, with myself, with you, and the ineffable. Maybe this is my reality!

    I am a human being. I contemplate such things. Meaning. Starlight. Beauty. Existence. Time. My spiritual practice takes me into the depths. It is never a silence for me, but an ongoing conversation, a gallery! I cannot stop moving – my heart, my feelings, my breath. I want to know more, experience more, express all I see! All I can be!

    The star has shifted. It seems to have fallen in the sky outside my window. I am worried that I have “talked” this whole time, and might lose the star! But I haven’t lost the star. Because the star means something to me. And who knows that that star is not contemplating me?!

    My love of life includes all of creation as I gaze inwardly and outwardly – to me, they are all connected. My inner vision comes from what I see, and what I cannot see. I am stirred by God’s invisible hand guiding me: Look, see! Here I am, in the mystery of things.

    P.S. I couldn’t resist getting a Star Finder app and found my star in the constellation of Aries. Like I child I will never give up hope for humanity or grow tired of learning and discovering!

  • krista-emmanuel-smiling
    LIFE,  SPIRITUALITY

    How God Worked A Miracle In My Soul

    The Miracle of Wanting Less and Loving More

    God has changed me profoundly. I know this because my will is not my own. Although I still make choices, I do things more and more because it is the right thing to do. Either I have grown up, or God has worked a miracle on my soul.

    In my old world, I used to call my work transformational. I accredited a lot of the pain and gain to myself, to my “process.” The self-help movement that I espoused brought me through many storms and heart-aches. I looked to myself both as cause and effect in some ways. Though I believed in God, I wasn’t sure if I was good enough for him. I would make strides, make changes, take big leaps, and fall big falls. I was courageous, but courage is not the same as wisdom.

    In my new world, I’m walking across a bridge, from the land where I once played and performed on many stages – literally and figuratively, to a new land where God is guiding the way, where I don’t always play a significant role. Still, I feel the best I have ever felt, doing what I love behind the scenes.

    I used to get excited by a new “gig,” the praise of a co-worker or boss, an honour at school, or a day off. Now I feel like a secret Santa on commission to make someone feel better. I stop to ask someone how they are, to console someone whose father is dying, to make a new friend, to help with the unpopular tasks of cleaning a kitchen or microwave, to attend a meeting for a social cause.

    These little acts of kindness and care bring great rewards. They aren’t external; they’re internal. Truthfully, they’re not about me at all! They come from feeling the love from others, a simple smile or thank you, and sometimes nothing at all. Just a quiet prayer to God that “all is well.”

    A quiet ride home contemplating the blessings of that day brings joy to my heart and contentment to my soul that I hadn’t experienced until I first surrendered as I walked across that bridge to my new home.

    Joy and laughter come from a heart fulfilled, filled with moments of care and carefree play with children or my dog.

    I am camping out in the land of God. He fills every place with his essence; his whispers to be patient; his nudge to smile; to sing, and to send our love into the world.

    I didn’t do this myself. I didn’t transform by an act of will or self-knowledge. God changed me and continues to mould me in a way that I can still be who I am, without all the pain and suffering. I am working for a new cause, one that is not my own.

    The rewards are higher than any prize. As God works on me, I work with God. We make a great team. He causes me to love; I am one small spark, a twinkle in his eye. I get to light up the dark spaces and bring others along for the ride.

    God has worked a miracle in my soul. If he can do it for me, he can do it for you as well.