Right Here, Right Now. . . The Gate of Heaven
Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. . . .This is the gate of heaven.
So, Who comes back?
One who is more awake. I just didn't know how asleep I was. But I see it now. Surely the Lord is in this place. . . .This is the Gate of Heaven. Right here, right now, this present moment and every unfolding present moment. Always, I am standing at the Gate of Heaven. When I choose to slow down and really see, really feel, really inquire into what is right before me, I cross into the kin-dom Jesus kept insisting was "very near."
In my previous post. I shared how it was during the post-Quest integration period that my eyes were really opened with astonishment to the miraculous nature of what had unfolded and what was continuing to unfold. This continued upon my return home.
That said, re-entry proved to be way more difficult than I'd anticipated. I was home less than 36 hours when I got triggered bigtime. Suddenly I found myself in the pit of fear and mistrust and blame. And as ugly as that pit was, what made it so deep was the shame and judgement I hurled at myself for having fallen into it in the first place. Returning home, I'd felt invincible; clearly I was not. Instead, my ego had risen with a vengeance and was having a heyday wrestling to the ground my Abundance-based true self. All those base camp fears returned, only stronger and with new iterations. Surely, I must be doing this wrong; this is not how re-entry is supposed to go. Who was I to think that I could really experience a life-changing Quest? It must have only appeared that I faced and released these fears on the Quest. I'm an imposter; I actually did not do my work. What a waste of time and energy. Why did you think you could really be transformed? Your friends and family will think you are a fool for the investments you made and invited others to make for this trip.This is benefitting no one. And so on.
Another 36 hours later, I was still held in the clenches of my own ego. Worn out and discouraged, I carried my breakfast out to the patio to warm myself in the morning sun. My husband, Vernon, pulled up a chair alongside me. To say that I had been an unpleasant partner the last 36 hours would be a gross understatement. Not only had I been hurling accusation and judgement toward myself, I'd thrown plenty of shade his way, too. I was surprised he wanted to be anywhere near me, actually.
We sat in silence for a few moments. And then he shared an event from his morning: "I found a wren on our breezeway floor; it flew into the window."
My heart sank. A pair of wrens have nested on our patio in a special little house Vernon built for them last year. They bring us so much delight. Their song and movement punctuate our days and awaken our curiosity and wonder. And this week, they were reminding me of their even more articulate cousins, the canyon wrens, in whose cascading lengthy trills I lost myself on Quest.
Vernon continued. "It looked dead. It wasn't moving at all. So I picked it up. It didn't weigh anything. I just held it in the palm of my hand out here in the sunshine. It just laid there. For quite a while. But then it opened its eyes. And lifted its head. I figured maybe it wasn't so comfortable with me staring at it like that, so after a few more moments I set it gently in the ground cover at the edge of the patio. Just a minute later the other wren showed up and started doing all sorts of crazy antics I've never seen a bird do before. It spread out its wings and got really low to the ground. It spread out its tail feathers and started backing up toward an overturned bucket on the patio. It was super strange. I think it was communicating to the injured wren that it was too exposed and should be in a safer, more protected place because then the injured wren joined the other by the bucket. They both just sat there. For like twenty minutes. Eventually, the injured wren flew off, and her partner followed."
I was sitting there in tears. They'd sprung instantly when I pictured my gentle husband holding and warming that little injured wren in the sunlight. I cried because this is what he does for me. Upon re-entry I had flown into a window bigtime. And here he was, patient, trusting my life and song to return.
This little wren and my husband returned me to my knowing: I am held. Even, and especially, in the pit of darkness I am held. Surely, the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. . . . This is the Gate of Heaven.
Friends, I really am convinced that all of Creation conspires to awaken us and to keep returning us to our true selves in God. We return when we awaken to and surrender to the present moment. Can we be willing to slow down and open our minds to look beyond what is on the surface? Can we be willing to open our hearts in compassion toward ourselves and others, claiming our and their belonging, as we are and as they are, right here and right now? Can we open our wills, releasing, sometimes again and again, the husks of identity that no longer serve us? Are we willing to usher in new ways of being and doing?
This is the trifecta of Original Blessing we are invited to reclaim again and again and again. Consciously resisting this reclamation is how I'd define sin. Let's return, dear friends, and claim what is already ours in Christ. And let's hold each other in the warmth of love and light when we crash into forgetfulness.
Who comes back?
One who knows more deeply the truth of how fully supported we are, and who commits to both receiving and offering the grace to begin again. And again. And again.
Stay tuned for one more Quest post: What gifts do you bring your people?