Monday, May 26, 2008

Digesting the FoH Part 2

Experiencing the Holy: The God Voice in My Head

It's funny the stuff that grabs a person out of a week of incredible richness. I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my CDs so I can listen to all those fantastic lectures and sermons again. They were so good and so dense and there was just so much to take in. I used to think I was a pretty good note taker, but when I look at what I wrote, well, let's just say, I am grateful for those CDs.

What surfaced this morning (in the shower of all places--where BTW it's really hard to write stuff down!) was a piece of Nora Gallagher's lecture. She was talking about tips for writers and the importance of avoiding "churchy" language, and challenged us with the assignment of writing about "Experiencing the Holy" without using the words soft, whisper, breath, God, gentle or eternity.

I got thinking about that....and how it really wouldn't be too challenging, other than the "God" one, most of those words really wouldn't be the first ones to come to mind when I think about my most recent and frequent encounters. It seems its more often like the reaction I mentioned at the end of my last post. The Spirit-within that I seem to keep encountering on a rather regular basis lately really doesn't whisper, it isn't soft or breathy. Rather it sort of chuckles. The best way I can think to explain it is this....you know when you need to say something? Confess something? To your BFF, your anam cara, your SD. You don't really want to but you know you must and you know you will -- and you know in the end it all will all be well. Partly, maybe mostly, because you know exactly the response you will get? That totally loving semi-exasperation that it took you so long to tell them what you and they both already knew and knew you would tell them in the end. And that is followed by that completely unconditional acceptance of all that you are while holding you accountable for your behavior--not to them--but to yourself -- and to everything in you that knows. That voice. The one that kind of has its hands on it hips right before it bursts into hugging you, and you just know you could not be more loved but you just better not try getting by with less than your best? Well that's the Spirit voice in my head these days, not the shaming sin counter of childhood, but surely not "soft" in a let me off the hook way. But soft as I can fall into it and be saved. Well, Nora, I'm afraid I might have to break the rules after all.

6 comments:

Rev SS said...

Wow! More than a wee bit envious.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh, Kate, such a good description. And I think I know what you mean. So often I sense from God the parental, amused, loving, tolerant chuckle for the mistakes he knows his children will make. How wonderful it was to read someone else describing a similar thing.

Nora Gallagher said...

Dear Kate,
I think you've accomplished "the assignment" wonderfully well. Thank you for posting.
In peace,
Nora

imngrace said...

Oh so cool. Really. And thanks for the insights at my place. They were helpful. Looking forward to more "unpacking" from the FoH.

Barb said...

Kate, your description of God blew me away when I first read it. I carried the imagery around in my head all day yesterday - and now it is rooted in my heart as well as my head and is bringing me peace. Thank you !

mompriest said...

cool that NG responded...but also I just want to say that I know exactly what you mean having spent most of the last two years work with the Jungian...whom I miss, but not as much as I thought...perhaps because he just acknowledged what I already knew and now I have internalized it for myself...?

anyway, way cool for you!