And Jesus Came Again
If you’ve read the last entry from 2006, you’ll see that Jesus seemed to be asking me to release myself from all ventures and to stay in solitude. For the most part I did so, and in the coming two years, I wrote both Creation of the New and The Given Self. I also continued to journal, often talking to Jesus just as I had before … but he had ceased to respond.
While this was an unexpected turn of events, a quiet and creative life was what I wanted. And so I was content – until my family’s financial difficulties got so bad that I had to get a job.
I’d bet more than a few of you remember The Great Recession.
This recession was a global economic downturn that caused millions of people to lose their life savings, their jobs and their homes. It was generally considered to be the longest period of economic decline since the Great Depression of 1930s. Although its effects were global in nature, the Great Recession was (according to the “History” website) most pronounced in the United States.
It had been a rough couple of years before we even landed there. My dad’s health started to decline in 2006. He was such a tender soul. It did something to my heart to see him in a bed at the VA, his bedding in disarray, his hair wild, and to have him cry on seeing me.
At the same time, my pregnant daughter had moved home. Two weeks after my dad died, in early 2007, she delivered my first grandson, Henry, and there was great poignancy in that time too, although it helped that I could hold him and walk with him and cry over him as much as I needed to.
We had closed the coffee shop (in more debt than when we started) and were just getting by when the recession hit. Donny, in his HVAC work, had fewer and fewer jobs. We almost filed for bankruptcy – twice. Many of my friends were in trouble as much as we were. My “ACOL reading friends” were wondering, as was I, where the abundance was. It’s hard not to do that, when you’re hurting.
I speak here of some of this and the “awful job” I’ve taken out of necessity. I was writing with no expectation that Jesus would answer. Maybe he came again because I started with, “I need help.”
His answer? Paint a New Picture. I have shared a more polished version of this message a few times, but I felt called to release it, here, as it came . . . within our dialogue. It’s a message that might comfort those going through their own hard times. I know when I was going through mine, I would have appreciated it if I’d come across something like this elsewhere. There’s solidarity in sharing.
Since I’ve left this in its long form, if you’d like to simply read the part of the message I’ve previously shared, scroll down to Paint a New Picture.
July 4, 2009
Independence Day and I’m starting a new journal, a new day, a new life. I’m here to admit I need help and that Terry needs help, and Ross, and that yet we don’t, and that this has been confusing, a confusion only answered by friendship. It’s helped me see there is no cause to exclude you, brother Jesus, from friendship. This weekend has been so revelatory. First Christie reminds me of union and relationship. Then Terry writes with an attitude so like mine – “There’s no god outside of me – I’m empty – where can I go? It used to be, I had someone to pray to.”
A necessary time. Don’t bemoan it. Have you come back to me in friendship?
Then tell me what you’ve gained. Tell me who you are and who you now know me to be.
I am new and I have returned to you new. I am also old and have returned to you old. I mean, I think, that I have two dimensions – my story – as you have yours, and a new story, as you have yours. I return to you in friendship, “turn” to you in friendship, as I do my other friends. I need to hear Terry say, “I’m intelligent – not rocket science intelligent – but intelligent enough, capable enough to support my family.” When I hear Terry say that, I know how I talk about myself, I recognize the feeling behind it.
Whether he wants me to tell him or not, I can’t help but tell him the truth of what I see: his kindness, intelligence, creativity, and that helps me see my own truth. I know he knows he’s more than what he’s feeling just now. And I know, from my recent experience, that I need to know my truth and carry it more lightly and more firmly, with humility – but not without confidence.
I have a sense of needing to leave off the old story, the shame and the “less than” feelings of the past, while at the same time retaining the feelings that make me cry and cry out for justice. I know I have grown weary and impatient for my new story to begin. I know that if I’m going to keep fumbling I want to fumble with you, not without you, not “on my own” but yet “on my own” in that way I am with other friends, with that recognition that they can help only so much. They can be with me, but they can’t live my life.
And so, there is this place where the way I see myself and you intersect:
I see you as being able to help me “more” than my other friends do, but with a new sense of response being up to me, my life being something you can only accompany me through, not give me the map for. I trust you, and so, when you “kicked me out of the nest,” as I call it, I felt good and as if you did have trust in me, and I needed that. But I forgot it a lot too. I felt a little as if you were standing back watching, more like a parent waiting for their child to grow up, doing the necessary standing back, and so I moved away from the feel of your friendship. . .a bit.
I did feel “on my own” and was aware of the need for that feeling – if only to break any sort of dependency and to mature, which I admit to not feeling that I have accomplished, but that I hope has begun. I have both gained strength and been weakened by my own attitude, my way of viewing being “on my own.” I have rebelled against my responsibilities and obligations, complained, let them overwhelm me, not known how to reconcile my resistance to things of “this world” with my need to live within it. It has felt like a battle and I’ve grown so weary.
But this shift to seeing you as friend, to seeing (remembering) union and relationship as well as oneness – the oneness of myself and this life I have to live and the oneness of unity with God, the weight of my shoulders and the heaviness of my heart, these burdens that I’ve made of blessings, I know can lift with your friendship, just as Mary Love lightens my heart and my burdens.
These friendships help me cut the cords of all that keep me from thriving – as I’ve done many times – but without conviction so that I remain tied. And so, I feel as if I know your friendship to be one of greater power –. My friends have “their own lives” and their own problems, issues, cords to cut, and while all those things help me see mine, perhaps more than you could, the grace to keep them cut seems the power that you have and can only share with me when I am ready.
Perhaps in friendship, you follow your heart and that’s all you can do, and maybe that is how you are, if I am to describe you to yourself, that you stand back just enough, even though it pains you, to let the fumbling and confusion go on, without the attempts to right it, for you know the gains that come of sitting in the fog of overwhelm, and the feel of having a destiny that you have to live out, knowing that in each small step you are accompanied but that it is up to you.
But the feel of friendship and its equality and mutuality changes everything, changes the old God model of earning, if not so thoroughly that you don’t ask, as we do with friends. Do you trust me? Do you love me? Do you believe in me? Do you have faith in me? Those are questions of friendship. I feel those alive questions between us and although I find it a miserable feeling to think your faith in me ever falters, when I see our relationship in the light of friendship, I would guess that it does and that you’ve wondered about me from time to time. I imagine that it pains you when I do the same, not ever overtly not trusting you, not believing in you, not having faith in you, but when I pretend that those questions aren’t there and it’s a done deal.
It’s so easy to see with friendship – how you might want your friend with money to help you when you’re down – but how they can’t possibly give you enough to sustain you, and they have to do whatever they do gently, with true generosity that has no strings attached, and without pity so that it doesn’t hurt your dignity, and so that you don’t jump over onto one another’s story-line and fix or problem solve the very matters that might make growth happen.
I’m not saying it right, but I do feel that you have a respect for my destiny, a stake in me being who I am as fully as I can, the way I feel that Terry, in being the artist he was born to be will grace the world in a way that can’t be done without. Yet I see that his struggles for and against, grace the world too and make his dear heart so dear, so that none of it is wasted, no suffering in vain. While you don’t want your friend to suffer and it’s painful to you, as painful as it is almost to feel your own (because it is your own in some way), it’s a reflection that lets you see your own pain with the same empathy. That is absolutely essential… the feelings.
I’m less certain of the hopelessness, the way I feel at that awful job, the stuckness and imprisonment that feels so unnecessary, the need for some relief so vast. . . . The “I’m not meant to be here,” feelings that you know are true while, at the same time, you have the feeling that you must be meant to be there because it’s where you are.
I feel your help is a little like the help it is to write. With writing and art, we do it partially so that we’re living it and not thinking about it. And so, for those hours, we’re oriented the right way. Behind our conscious minds there’s a truth being lived out and our bodies and souls feel it and feel more natural and keep moving toward that natural place so we can carry it everywhere. I think you can push and pull us toward out destiny, to that orientation toward the sun that feeds us, but you can’t lasso us and drag us along, and you’re like the friend who can see you’re making things unnecessarily hard on yourself and who can see your gifts, but you’ve got none of the fear of risk taking or the adoration of security so that your pushes and pulls are scarier to follow.
But mostly the feeling of wanting to be taken care of by you is the greatest split in the friendship feeling because you’ve said those words of being like the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and you just don’t want to have to worry about your health or your partner’s health, or your kids, or to be dependent on other friends just to live, or to take horrid jobs to pay the bills, because this is not like the birds or the lilies. The more you live that way the more you feel like there’s a promise that’s been made that’s not being kept, and like there’s a betrayal of friendship going on, in a way, because people do, you know, friends do, hold you to what you say, like all those things in the course about not suffering and ease coming. You’ve got a lot of friends standing around wondering … when? And what am I doing wrong?
You can’t help but feel you must be doing something wrong when “the way it’s meant to be” isn’t the way it is and you’re wounded and bleeding, or stuck and imprisoned to the point where you’re suffocating – gasping for the air of freedom. You don’t think your friend ought to let you get that far down that path if it can be helped, like you shouldn’t have to beg before you get any relief, any one small thing coming along to lift you up a little.
I just read somewhere that passion means suffering and it’s one of those things I knew but had forgotten – thus “your” passion/your suffering, may be a clue as to why passion gets called suffering so much, and madness and all of that.
With my friends, it’s like we’ve been traveling through the mud and have reached the dry spot where you think it’s going to be easier but you’re dry yourself, you’ve got that running on empty feeling, and the sun’s a little too hot.
I’m not quite in that place Terry is, although I’ve been there often enough. I don’t feel at the end of my rope right now because I’ve gotten a little time and space and that time and space has returned me to you, and you might as well be all the hope in the universe, as I suspect you are, but not alone like each of us, wandering these perilous times, even if one at the beach and one in the jungle and one in freakin’ Minneapolis buried under bricks that seem to block the sky.
Alone it’s all a bunch of hassle and joined it seems less so and even as if the remainder of the journey can be that place where there’s a coming together despite distance and form, that would make it all at least bearable and maybe even a thing of some joy, which right now seems a bit much to look forward to, but hey, you’re the guy we’re hoping in to show us the way, at least the way to pull it up from inside ourselves, or to return us to that center.
This isn’t quite the spirit that I started this with but I must add that I always felt my mission with the Course was more than the books and this is one place where, having started me on this path, I feel as if I can call you to at least collaborate on whatever is left to do. It’s not my project alone, and I guess, now that I think of it, that is in the spirit of friendship in which I started out because, darn it, we did start this together, and I guess that’s the one thing I really want to talk to you about because it seems as if the answers for all of us might be in there somewhere, in where you see this going and in you telling me if I’m off in my vision of it, or my delivery, or at least discussing it with me.
And what is your vision?
That it’s personal and collaborative and a melding of divine and human. That there’s a way in which “in the world but not of it” is working against us and we have to bring the inner and outer together, join the world, join each other. That we’ve got to have a love relationship (us and you), and us and each other, and us on this journey and whatever work we take up because of it, and that it has to be creative work, not head work, not of the intellect alone anyway, and not a way that uses the old skills and the old words that have us trying to manage our way as if we are in control.
The need to be powerful in our actions and words and this thing about making choices, which is a really tough one for me just now. I’ve really wanted to tell people to accept this messy part of it all as the collapse of the old and to join with those very people who are in the mess so that they know that the mess is the happening and the birthplace of the new. Probably the biggest thing is the thing I haven’t quite gotten down about being fully who I am and the knowing that in that – in each of us being who we are – is where we’ll finally thrive.
I especially haven’t gotten down the language about that being the only thriving and the acceptance of this mess where it all seems like a gigantic struggle to simply live – that “old world” being the one we’re forced to live in, in order to pay the bills. So, there’s this sense of it not being “the old world” we’re meant to join with, but the new one that will rise from the mud. Still, it’s awfully hard to accept the mud when you don’t know for sure or feel as if you’re with others in a place you can name truly necessary or essential or feel the movement.
There’s a little feeling of being pushed to quit those things you’re tolerating and to forge something new, but the means is escaping us. I guess I, at least, feel as if there’s this tiny band of us, one here, one there, and we’re floundering something fierce, and I get this sense that we need more than the wee bit of encouragement we can give each other. We need you, the true ringleader of this movement, to make yourself a little more visible and to quit pushing us from behind, as it has felt, and to start walking with us, or something like that.
It wouldn’t be so hard if we felt the light of your blessing, even just in lifting the heaviness from our hearts, or in a few small breaks.
I appreciate things like the dream I had the other night so much, as if the gifts that waft up from my unconscious are your way of telling me I’ve got the right the idea, and this latest dream was of cutting ties to the past. I’ve had so many of those sorts of feelings, as if old patterns have needed to be broken and they’ve been shattering in all sorts of painful ways for which I’m nonetheless grateful.
There was the other dream too, of a warehouse, and the feeling that it’s time for distribution of all the goods stored up, like it’s a famine out there and I/we are sitting on this desperately needed food and water (or this Course) for people’s souls. How do we get this flow going, my dear, dear friend, with so much more knowing than me? The flow that furthers the collapse or starts the modeling of the clay, or at least ends in the bursting of the old wine skins?
My dearest friend and collaborator, feel your heart, and the heaviness of your chest, all the strain running through your body, head to foot. I know your weariness and that of your friends, the weariness of this search for the new that feels so much like hanging on and letting go at the same time.
You desire more than anything to be in that place that will not require you to compromise yourself after a lifetime of compromising, but alas, you haven’t yet landed there, and you are upset about this…about the compromises you feel forced into making because you don’t get a break in this time you label one of collapse.
You are picturing this time of collapse against the picture you have painted and so it is important to get the picture a little more clear. We might call it the end of the compromise picture.
I hope you’ll feel the lessening when I tell you that you have known where the compromises lie and that this is truly marvelous, a thing that few now can see as well as you do. You have stepped back from many places that came to feel as if they went against your truth or your integrity, even when you suspected they might have brought you gain. You did not do this without being tempted, and you didn’t always do it with the grace you would have liked, but you were brave in these actions and trusting in what you know…if belatedly.
This is much of what you’ve been feeling these past weeks, a great desire to trust beforehand rather than after some near misses. You have seen some of these as tests, and others as blessings in disguise that you hope will shore up your resolve for looking more straight on at the next temptation. You so desire a certainty you do not feel, a precognition or intuition that will warn you in advance or prepare you to be stalwart in your responses. These are the kinds of qualities I cannot give you and that you see yourself perhaps obtaining through greater self-awareness, which is fine, but not necessarily by or through the route that you are considering.
It might come under a heading of not sweating the small stuff. The old could largely be seen as the small stuff – fixing this part and then this part and looking at this and then that – and thinking pretty soon you’ll come to wholeness. It doesn’t work even though it can help to bring a narrow version of health and contentment.
I say this happened most with the course, this stepping away, this dawning of awareness of compromises you couldn’t make, because it’s true and it shows that you have put the course, this work of ours, this heart and soul work, ahead of your own self. You do not as easily see the compromises you make with your life – those that come in what you see as smaller ways, like the meeting of physical needs. You’re working out of love for your family and you’ve come closer to leaving it than ever before, not for fear of work but once again for being unable and unwilling to compromise “our work,” even while it has remained so scattered and confusing that seeing it as a vocation or with vision has been difficult.
These are courageous acts, even in their contemplation, in your willingness to entertain notions of what you must do and what you must not do. These are not the old moral questions but the questions that arise of vocation and vision, but even those words are minimizing when it comes to what we are about and this new time, this history yet to be written, and this seeing that is of wholeness rather than parts, and that is of unilateral acceptance of yourself rather than acceptance of what you might label good.
I’m not saying it will always be this way and that you won’t, when the time is right, move in many ways toward a goodness that has about it many qualities of the former definition of goodness, but there is a need, as we enter the new time, for a release from the tyranny of what has been considered good and what has been considered not good or bad. And so these aspects of where you and your friends stand, are part of the collapse of the old tyrannical forms of goodness, just as there was a need for a collapse of those ways that required the sacrifice of animals, as if that symbolic shedding of blood – blood not one’s own, could be redeeming in itself. The symbolic was never meant to replace the deep feelings of what was symbolized, or to lead to judgments and enforcements that merely made for more right-doers and more wrong-doers.
So, there is, indeed, a need for the good to not look so darn good, so a thing of rules and sacrifice, whether these are rules of health or of religion. There is so much harm being done with these rules – so much more harm than ultimate good. Societal observance of its members lends credence to its rules, rules for “the good” of those who do not know how to choose the good on their own for their own self. Rules of force are not ever means for the good to thrive. They do not lead to changes of heart but to a destruction of the soul. External control is not the good it is made out to be and, as you have intuited, a great realignment of what is good is in the works.
Nothing truly changes without this realignment of former notions held firm, whether they be of what constitutes goodness or peace, success or enlightenment. The picture of what is aspired to, and the aspiring itself must change radically, as was needed in my time on earth. What good is there in seeking what is of no value to you? The clustering of goodness into a notion of what is “good for all” is another aspect of the change that must happen. The world, at this time, in this information age, is made up almost entirely of such clusters, enough to keep this generation and many more to come, endlessly preoccupied with things of little value.
And so, you and your little band of friends, who are not so few as you imagine, and among which I am one, are, you might say, early painters of the new picture. How can you paint this new picture from a place of health/wealth/success that looks like the picture that has been being painted for generations?
You may ask, How can we paint at all when we are not only broke but despondent? This is a good question, even while you look upon each other as new versions of new life, albeit in beginning stages that you presume will grow to look much finer sometime soon. What if this doesn’t happen?
Your next question might be how any attention to the new can be given while you’re consumed by meeting the bare minimum needs of your physical life? How can you have an impact on more than a few? What means are you to use? What picture are you painting? How do survival issues not become issues of survival of the fittest? Of the ones most willing to compromise? You might ask if I am meaning that you become content and even happy with your low station in life. If I am saying that no help is coming. You must remain indigent, reliant on others, and still somehow stand above the fray. Impossible you will cry! Impossible to exist this way without the very compromise with which I began this conversation.
Paint the New Picture
And I will tell you – Paint the new picture. Paint the picture without worry about those on whom you rely, for those on whom you rely are not those you think they are. Paint the picture and you will experience the freedom of it, a freedom without compromise. Paint the picture, and the old picture will begin to fade, the one that has you in compromised positions that are nonetheless not the compromises of fitting in to the old picture but only of experiencing a minimal participation in it while the new picture is taking form.
Oh, Jesus, I get you, and I don’t. Is this really the way it must be? Another idea, a direction that is direction only, another thing that can only be “gotten” at some level that none of us know much about?
You each know far more than you think you do. Quit thinking.
This does not feel as if it takes any burden from us, even if it’s a blessing. My body feels heavy with another idea of significance that is so unclear. I am happy that you have given me no feeling of being way off track. I really am. But I want more. Is there no more you can give, and I don’t mean in the old way (much), only in the way of lightening the load so that we can begin.
You see, you do mean to ask for help in the old way, the way that has miracles of load-lightening events coming to you from the heavens. The old rescuer ideas.
Instead invite me into your work, into the painting of this new picture, into deeper friendship and collaboration so that old lines aren’t redrawn. You have said so many times that you don’t know what the new way is, only what it isn’t. This is enough to guide you, but it is as tough a vision as any that says “Here’s the way. Do it like this.”
Beware of wanting the old ways, that’s all I’m saying. If you want the freedom of the new, if you want liberation for yourself and the generation coming behind you, if you want release from tyranny and to be no one’s child, or slave to any task master, then you are going to have to do things in a new way. You’re going to have to come to see yourself as creators.
This is the beginning. Paint the new picture. Embrace the partnership. Follow your gut. Paint the picture of such freedom that no compromise is possible.
Envision this now as a kind of anarchy. Compromise is only possible between fixed but differing positions. These fixed positions are, like the information that so distracts you, a clustering of assumptions. They don’t actually exist. They are only experienced. These ideas, like those of goodness, that drive you all, are not existent in and of themselves. Someone gives them form. Someone paints their picture and says, “See, this is the way it is.”
Paint a new picture. This is what will free you.
Is this just a fancy way of saying change your ideas and you’ll change your life? It kind of sounds like that, but you know me, and that I’m not much into that, but will feel I must be off on a new mission if you want me to be.
You have got to knock off that old way of thinking. I am no should sayer. I am not your Father. I will never tell you that you must anything. Do not give those qualities to me and don’t desire them from anyone else. Don’t you see that what has arisen has arisen from this very kind of desire? What “must” I do to be happier, healthier, wealthier? Isn’t this the common question? With the common emphasis on “tell me what to do.” Then someone tells you what you should do and the whole cycle repeats itself…the cycle of wrong and right ways, of experts and seekers, of should sayers and rebels.
You have asked. I am your friend. I know you intimately. I know your friends intimately. The whole stringy, straggly, bunch of you are so close – so close to my heart – so close to finding your own way, so close to true altruism of spirit, to the kind of giving of yourselves, giving yourselves over to vision that the world needs. See in your questions, in your desire for quick relief, in your desire for clarity to be given, the remnants of the old way. At the same time, refuse to see this denial of the hierarchy of divinity to mean that you are not accompanied and, in that accompaniment, aided by way of strength and grace for what is yours to do.
What is freely given is not this thing of gift as you perceive of it, not a bestowing on one of one gift and on one of another, not so much a thing of destiny or of one being an artist and one a writer and on and on. Those all are parts of life that are there and yet looked at inaccurately, particularly in the idea of bestowing.
Gifts or talents are not there in form, but only in experience.
What blessings have you received from me that came of form? Any? You like to think your woods and cabin were miracles of divine intervention and so, although we need to wrap up for now, I will say a small bit about intercession and intervention.
I don’t want to leave you with the idea of no assistance, no comfort, but only of something asked of you. Yet you must see that in what is asked of you is the assistance and comfort given. The same is true of me. When you come to me, when you ask, you reveal yourself to me in your own way. You tell me of what’s concerning you as you see it. I may see it quite differently.
Like any friend, you honor me with your story, and by sharing matters of your heart. Like any friend, brother or sister, I have every inclination to help and not to hurt. All friends ponder the difference of what advice they can give, or what assistance, or how much truth they can tell to fit the circumstance of their friend. You have worried that you’re not good about this and that you overstep your bounds at times.
When you do this and call this worry, you are only looking at it from an angle that doesn’t serve you well, because like all things you call “worry,” you then relegate it to a place where you both think of it too much and avoid the sort of alchemy of wisdom-making that is inherent within your internal desire. This is akin to this thorny issue you are putting before me. You have asked for help. How much help do I give? This is thorny even for me, prickly for every relationship of love, as there is a balancing of freedom with what can be given in times of need.
There is the old saying “teach a person how to fish,” and this is not quite like that, but it has elements of it only because you have not fully embraced your freedom and your power, which is why I tell you to Paint the Picture and to trust that I will be beside you, aiding you in ways that make it easier for you, but without treading on your freedom while it is so nascent within you. I see intercession as a way of putting a buffer between you and your struggles rather than ridding you of them.
Intervention is about crisis, as you know. It’s what friends do as a last resort when one of their own is becoming lost to them. You step in, even if the friend wants no help and is openly resistant to it, and it happens rarely, maybe not ever in an entire lifetime of crises. This is due to the respectful relations that make friends friends, a respect of another’s path and their right to choose and to flounder and to make mistakes, the very rights we’re reinstating in our new picture of goodness. Yet even then, even in such last-resort acts, what is bound to happen?
You will ask something of your friend.
It is not nearly so much, if at all, about what you will or can give your friend, as it is about what you, as a friend, and only as a friend, can ask in deepest friendship and love.
And so, we are back to the asking being the way to comfort and assistance – in a very mutual way. You might say…
Oh, please, please, come back from wherever you’ve gone if you can. I miss you, I’m awaiting you, I’m holding my breath for your return, I’ll do whatever little I can to help you, but what can I do but ask, plead, beg, that you please, please turn away from whatever dark notions of yourself have made you cold and like stone to me, and open your heart again to the love that I want so desperately to give and to feel again coming from you, because you are not, not lost, not this stone, those cold eyes aren’t yours, whatever you’re in the grips of isn’t you.
And here is where you might see a spark in the cold eyes or where you don’t, and where you know, whether you admit to yourself or not, that nothing you can say will have effect or that it might. Here is the willingness or unwillingness that stands behind the stone revealed and it can be a stone of greed as easily as a stone of lack, of arrogance as much as of humiliation. Oh, if you were only to confront those with arrogance and greed in their hearts as readily as you do those who have walled themselves away for their tenderness.
A thing of wisdom I can tell you is that if you ask the tender to come to your aide and give you something that only they can give, they will rise like a feather on the wind, and lightly, as if on tiptoes, do the giving, no matter how high their wall of self-protection.
Greed and arrogance are walls of self-protection too and they hide many tender souls even if the walls seem impenetrable, and sometimes are – not merely for unwillingness, but for fear – and here the greedy fall behind the meek because their greed is a thing of fear, and of self-doubt.
So, what happens when you are asked a thing as hard and as simple as opening your heart to love, or letting a vision you already possess flow through you into expression? What happens is that you wrestle to the ground your own fears, you dismantle your walls, you rise like a feather on the wind – or you don’t.
Your decision or choice is to believe or disbelieve that I know the capacities of those I ask, and to respond however you are drawn to respond. You ask small things of those whose fears are large, large things of those whose fears are small, with nothing but love and respect for what comes of your request and empathy for the challenge it may be to step past doubt for the rising that will lighten your step and cause your feet to fall on hallowed ground.
Do you not know that this is true for what has been asked of you and how holy it has made the ground to your feet so that your feet honor the earth and the mud? Do you not know this asking as a far reach from self-aggrandizement and do you not know the act of answering as a true act of humility? Did you not have your woods and your cabin come to you, not as miracles that were freaks of nature but as ways of cooperation so that there was a bit of timing and of money and of opportunity coming together at the right time in a way that felt miraculous and that yet was the result of your own brave actions? Your faith, your own faith made manifest?
And so, do not look sideways at being asked. Look straight on and into the heart of the asker and the picture will be clear.