My life is a spiritual experience, the varied strands of which are held together by our God and the partnership I/we share. As with the protagonist in the novel The Chosen I am the child of a very quiet man, which seems even today, quite sad. Yet, same as with Danny Saunders, that silence is a spiritual background to my whole life, a silence of loss and yet, of plenty, allowing me permissively, plenty of awe, mystery, unbiased exploration, sense, and presence, and nonsense, and openness too. Since my mom worked full time perhaps I was what’s called today, a “free-range” kid. My mystical Catholic Church gave me atmosphere and meditative time weekly with mass and confession and saints’ stories.
The intensely spiritual moments cannot be separated–beginning with this one: the end of a one time event, my college’s Date with Dad weekend, where we spent a special weekend on campus, attending special meals and displays together, a dinner at Sally’s Steak House followed by a dance in our cafeteria. It was so great that this was his longest dry period– my mom told me years later. A Wonder. After he left and I went to bed, I experienced a gift of knowing and feeling that my dad and I were one person, one person. We were one then. A quiet real oneness.
Next, during my first and very difficult marriage, during a yoga time in my front room, I tried following directions from my yoga teacher on Kundalini yoga. After a long yoga session I breathed with imagining that air moving up and down my spinal column as up and down a hollow tube. Then my clothing seemed to flicker, I touched near the bottom of my spine,but my clothes weren’t causing a movement, the movement started slowly up my spine and became warm and vibrating as a circle of warm energy. Up and up and I experienced the moving up to my head then atop my head and was, myself, above my body and I was me, but now as pure brilliant light that was also simultaneously greatest unearthly and heavenly pure joy…the no effort here, no discernment needed. There I was and I was pure joy and light.
And I started to want it to stay, and then I found myself back in my ordinary body.
That was intense. My instructor later told me that yogis try their whole life to experience what I had experienced, and most, without ever having that type of moment.
Yet I have three more experiences just as mind blowing.
Walking with my baby in a stroller and my toddler near the local lake and park when, now a happy Presbyterian, I found myself wading in love. The same as in thigh high water, but what was thigh high was not heavy water but a weighty love fluid and all around me as in a sea, a sea of love.
That is enough to share, though several other times I felt Jesus’ full presence tangible to me and then heaven itself when I was in the maternity ward and my first born was in my arms and in that room I was walking in heaven. The Joy was around and part of me and it was love and God’s Glory.
Jesus was tangible to me twice during worship, once with Rev. Schulte sharing how the disciples did not recognize His Resurrected self while traveling together on the Emmaus road. When the pastor shared that it was the breaking of the bread they saw and knew him, I right then, through those words , felt him present there in church near me and my tears commenced to flow. The other time Christ made himself tangible to me was during the end of my children’s sermon….where they role played one carrying heavy rocks of being different, the six others prompted to taunt him and add more rocks to his basket. When finally one stood next to him and took some of his rocks and took the same taunting, sharing the suffering of others, what a follower does. My prayer mentioned how this works as we participate in his work and He was tangible to me. Tangible I think to our new minister, too.
Jesus and Glory, Presence and oneness, Meaning and Joy…..Fills and spills from within within. These moments were gifts and remain gifts. I want to use the energy God provides to help bring new life within the lovely people God shares with me. God’s Energy can do what I can’t.