Friday, January 6, 2012

His hand is near

I'm delighted to report that my daughter's drive went without incident, and she arrived safely in Montana.  So all that worrying was fortunately for naught.

... But then, isn't ALL worrying really for naught?  In my reading in Henri Nouwen this morning he talked a lot about how much we fear death, seeing it as "the great enemy who will always get the better of us against our will and desire."

Nouwen, of course, has another way of looking at it:

"Even though I often give in to the many fears and warnings of my world, I still believe deeply that our few years on this earth are part of a much larger event that stretches out far beyond the boundaries of our birth and death.  I think of it as a mission into time, a mission that is very exhilarating and even exciting, mostly because the One who sent me on the mission is waiting for me to come home and tell the story of what I have learned.

... With this vision, death is no longer the ultimate defeat.  To the contrary, it becomes the final "yes" and the great return to where we can most fully become children of God... when I listen to that small soft voice calling me the Beloved, I know that there is nothing to fear and that dying is the greatest act of love, the act that leads me into the eternal embrace of my God, whose love is everlasting."

The root of all worrying, I suspect, is an inability to trust that all will somehow turn out okay; that we are beloved, that everything is an opportunity for learning, and that all will indeed result in a return to the most desired state: that of union with the Beloved. 

The poet Hafiz seems to understand and explain this beautifully:

If you knew the end of your story,
nothing on any page --
not one of your dramas,
could bother you as much.

If you knew the glorious end of your journey,
at least half of your attention could be lifted
from anything you can now focus on
that may cause you pain.

His hand is like that,
when it is realized near,
it will always turn your gaze 
in the direction of more light.

I'm hoping, as time goes by,  that I'll get better at realizing that hand is near, and that my gaze, in turn, will be ever more directed towards the light...


Louise Gallagher said...

I believe it's why we have created the concept of an afterlife -- because we humans struggle so with believing.... this is it. this life is what we have to live -- and so, we have an afterlife which we can hold onto to keep us from fearing leaving this life behind.

for me -- that light is ever so clear in this life, this space, this time...

I think... :)

Not sure.... but, I'm thinking... being present in this life is all that makes a difference in this life and the only way to do that is to stay focused on being the light...

I think.... :)

Diane Walker said...

Isn't that curious. I didn't even think of this in terms of "afterlife" -- or heaven, or whatever. I just carry this feeling that whatever is here is both NOT all there is and EVERYTHING I have to learn; that the only point in being here is to BE here and trust that, whatever's next, we're where we're supposed to be, learning whatever it is we're supposed to learn, and being looked after with great tenderness.