In the stillness of this moment there is peace…
This month I have decided to bring back an old post from 2017. This is still timely today.
I have been blessed to have experience several wonderful examples of community throughout my life so far. I grew up in a church that was a close, loving “church family.” We cared for each other, prayed for each other and helped out in tangible ways when needed. I did not realize at the time how much work it took to build and maintain such community until a new pastor came and it was quickly destroyed.
In college I was a part of small group of students and faculty who were the “spiritual core” of our campus community. That group provided a place for me as a student who didn’t fit in other areas of campus life.
I have also experienced community in “outsider” groups. People who are often overlooked, ignored or excluded by the rest of society. There is much to be learned from the way these groups come together to take care of each other.
Since I have experienced community I feel lost when it does not exist. I have tried to find it and have had hopes that I had found it, only to be disappointed. I’m not sure there are many people left who understand the concept of community or know how to build or live in it.
But one thing I know for sure, is that creating a sense of community where we care for and support each other is something that we desperately need right now. In fact, I believe it is the only thing that can heal the wounds created by the last election here in the U.S. and that continue to be created. As the new regime continues to force harmful policies on our country, people are going to be harmed. People are facing the possibility of losing not only their insurance coverage, but their access to medical care at all. Right now, people are afraid of being forced from the country they have come to love and call home because of their ethnic or religious heritage, even if they are citizens. People are being attacked because they are Muslim, or even “look” Muslim. Jobs are at risk. Families are at risk of being torn apart.
Who is going to help pick up the pieces? I believe there are good, kind-hearted people out there who will respond to these needs, either out of their spiritual practices or because it is just the right, moral and ethical thing to do.
I have been struggling with what to do in the aftermath of the election. Until recently the only thing I really felt “called” to do was pray including joining online prayer and meditation gatherings for specific causes. We attended an Indivisible meeting in our community, but their strategies just don’t feel right for me to implement. Then while driving into the Walmart parking lot I encountered human need first hand — a family including three young children, not from an Islamic nation, but who could have been mistakenly labeled as such holding a sign saying “lost job, please help.” In the part of the country where I live this left me a bit shaken to say the least.
I felt fear for this family, but it also left me with a clear focus on what I am to do. I am to help pick up the pieces of human lives damaged by nationalistic policies as I am able and the need arises. I am open to what that might mean in terms of action, and I am trusting Spirit to guide me. In this specific instance after a brief talk with the mother, I went back to Walmart and bought a gift card wishing I could do more.
It’s wake up time folks! If this country is to survive we have to stop blaming people we see as not the right color, nationality, religion or who have not realized our idea of the American dream in terms of wealth. It is time to start protecting the vulnerable, caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, and mourning with those who mourn.
In short, it’s time to be more Christ-like.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the wold. For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.
Matthew 25:34-40 — New International Version.
We live in a world where it seems fewer and fewer people understand community. Our emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of individuals often separates us, creating a lonely world with little concern for the needs and welfare of others.
I grew up in a church with a strong sense of community. We were family. We cared, supported and prayed for each other as well as for others outside our church. People were drawn to our church by kindness and help received in time of need. I remember joyous “family celebrations” of marriages, births, graduations, new jobs as well as sad occasions when we gathered to pray for healing for people who were gravely ill or mourn the passing of those near and dear to us. The prayers of that church sustained me during difficult times and I believe led to a miracle healing when doctors had given up all hope.
I was shocked when I moved away and realized not all churches were like that. In fact most I encountered were not. Community is certainly not limited to churches, but I believe that as people of faith we lead by example and showing our love and care for others through community is one way to do that.
Something we have been trying to do with Espirational from the beginning is to create a sense of community for people who can often feel like “spiritual outsiders.” Living a life true to our calling is not always easy, especially when we may be challenged or ostracized for our beliefs and way of life.
Recently we started The Espirational Community as a Facebook Group where our followers and others on a spiritual path can come together for encouragement and support. Please stop by and introduce yourself. Invite your friends. And join us this month on Espirational as our daily quotes during the month of June will focus our attention on community.
Let’s Talk About It
We are talking about Creating Community this month in The Espirational Community on Facebook. While due to the founders of this site’s personal backgrounds this is a Christ based Website this site and The Espirational Community is a place for people of all faiths to gather, discuss and praise the God of us all. Please consider this your invitation to join our community and participate in the discussion of this timely topic.
There seems to be something within us that is always searching. The pull is so strong it leads us to churches, spiritual teachers or even halfway around the world to “sacred sites” on a spiritual pilgrimage. We are looking for a place, that “holy ground” where we believe we will find God.
What drives us in our search for God? Do we really believe that God is “out there” somewhere?
I believe we are born knowing our oneness with God and each other. As we are trained and educated by our culture and the world we begin to forget. We lose our sense of oneness with God and may begin to feel “lost.”
Are you looking for Holy Ground? That sacred place where God is? I have good news! It’s closer than you think. You don’t have to search or give anyone money to find it. You are standing on it, in it.
The presence of God is over, under, all around and within you, your family, friends; even your enemies. You see, the journey is not an external one, to a holy place somewhere outside ourselves. The journey is within. Stop, stand or sit quietly and breathe. Quiet your mind, listen, feel and experience the presence of God.
This month we will explore ways to remember we are always on Holy Ground. Please join us.
We are talking about Holy Ground this month in The Espirational Community on Facebook. Please consider this your invitation to join our community and participate in the discussion of this timely topic.
“The greatest romance is with the Infinite.
You have no idea how beautiful life can be.
When you suddenly find God everywhere,
when He comes and talks to you and guides you,
the romance of divine love has begun.”
Many people go through life searching for their calling. We might see this as our perfect job or career. We might see it as a cause or whatever makes us feel alive. Some think of this is religious terms, as in being called to “the ministry.” Some people seem to find their calling in this life, while others continue to search.
Let’s look at the idea of being called from a different perspective. We are all called. Called to what? Called to be. Called to be what? Light, love, peace, goodness, grace, joy, forgiveness, wisdom, beauty and other attributes of God in whose image and likeness we are created.
We come into this world knowing this but as time goes by we begin to forget and eventually our true nature goes to sleep. But there is good news. We can wake up. When we awaken to our true nature and our call to express it in this world our lives begin to fall into place as we begin to live our true purpose.
It is not always easy to live as awakening beings in a world where there is much darkness and many are sleepwalking through life. We may be ridiculed, harassed, even verbally or physically attacked. We may not even be able to see that we have made a difference. But we may catch occasional glimpses of change that will encourage us to continue on our journey. We may trip and fall and find ourselves not being true to our calling but once we know our calling to be the presence of God in the world, there is no turning back.
We no longer want to be a part of the darkness. We can do nothing but continue to shine our light, as tiny as that light might seem at times. We walk through life shining our light and living in the warmth of the light of God.
You may be hearing the word awakening being thrown around a lot right now. Many people in our world today believe we are being called to wake up. I am one of them. If the current social, political, religious and economic turmoil around the world isn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is.
This is a time of awakening. So… awakening to what?
Our true nature. Being created in the image and likeness of the creator of the universe, we are born to be creative. We create our own world with our thoughts and actions. When we begin to wake up and join together we create a world that works for all.
Our oneness. Any separation we experience is an illusion we create ourselves. We name, label and exclude others and declare it to be so, but it is all still an illusion. When will the current climate of hatred, fear and hostility begin to turn around? When when remember our oneness.
Our responsibility to care for the earth. As a Christian, I believe were placed on this planet to care for it — to tend the garden, not destroy it. Will we wake up to this reality before it is too late? I certainly hope so.
Our dependence on each other. We live in a time when we brag about not needing anyone. We think we can take care of ourselves. We ostracize those who openly can’t do things for themselves. But sooner or later we will realize this is not true. We all need each other and there is no shame in needing or asking for help and nothing to boast or complain about in helping others.
So this month we are talking about awakening. We live in a time of what appears to be great darkness. This can be a frightening time. But it is also an exciting time. The world is changing. Something new is begin born and we are experiencing labor pains.
The time has come for those who have been awakening to start to come together. Not to form new institutions or churches which have not worked in the past, but to bring a new way of living and being into the world.
Wake up! You are light. Shine!
We live in a time of great darkness. We may feel driven to fight against the darkness. If this is your path I would like to give a word of caution that is can be difficult to fight without becoming what we are fighting.
This is the time I believe we are being called to remember. To remember who we are and where we came from. To remember our light and our spiritual power.
We are light and what this world so desperately needs right now is for all of us to shine. We change the world by the way that we live. We don’t have to try to judge, teach or change anyone. When others see the light shining through us they will come to us. They will see that we are different and will want to know more.
The month of December is a difficult time for many people. The time when we speak of peace on earth goodwill to all can also be a time of anger, feeling that we are the only ones with the truth, greed, materialism and other displays of human frailty. This is the time to stay true to your calling and not get caught up in petty squabbles over celebrations, what is being celebrated or appropriate holiday greetings.
This is the time we must focus on the light that we are and walk in it. So this holiday season go out there and SHINE!
What does shining your light look like in your life? Please take time to ponder this question. Think about it, journal, create art, answer the question in the comments below, whatever you feel led to do.