Saturday, June 5, 2010

Up Close and Personal With God

When I paddled from the Arctic Ocean to Cape Horn, I celebrated in the embrace of God's glorious creation in the outdoor world. Do you know how to tell what direction the wind is blowing? I learned to watch for the signs like a flag untwisting and furled or the bend of a branch. Throughout the 21,000 mile canoe adventure, I experienced the "All Things Are Possible With God," part of Holy. I lived a victory of time, distance and dreams come true. The Two Continent Canoe Expedition was a vision and with that vision I could not perish. Scripture came true as I paddled. I had printed love one another on the bow of my canoe but I didn't learn that verse from staring at the printed message 16 million paddle strokes. I learned to love one another because people loved me throughout the western hemisphere. I John 4:19 came to life. We love because God first loved us." I learned to love because people in 23 countries loved me -- adopted me like family, took me into their homes and helped me along my way. On Lake Argentina, I experienced the power of God when 100 mph winds roiled the lake into ice churning pistons with my boat caught between exploding, fluid gears. Calming myself by singing "How Great Thou Art," believing the power of God greater than the power of the storm, I paddled safely to shore.

This journey through transplant is a deeper relationship with God. It scares me at times because in the quiet, I feel as if I am being prepared to meet my maker face to face. When the world and distractions quit, God can get intensely up close and personal.

In the sweet territory of silence we touch the mystery. It's the place of reflection and contemplation, and it's the place where we can connect with the deep knowing, to the deep wisdom way. -- Jean Shinoda Bolen

I'm not sure I agree with Jean. The sweet territory of silence can be imprisoning when imposed by cancer. I don't think of God as mystery. God is revelatory, wanting to be known and in relationship. Reflection and contemplation doesn't just happen in silence. It happens for me in a moment when I hear the giggle of my child in the crowd and see her sweet face making eye contact and looking to see if I notice. Connect with the deep knowing, to the deep wisdom way..... Jean should have been at our dinner table when Joshua was kicking at Korrina under the table. Shammond was saying he wasn't hungry, Steven had a cell phone call and learned enough to say "I'll call you back." What food we had was shared and ample. Mom filled the plates and Micala delivered. "I need a fork," was heard from the end of the table. "I dropped by spoon," was heard from the opposite quarter. "Joshua hit me with his spoon," was heard too. We would turn out the lights and the candle be lit. For moments of glorious silence we would sit together and no one spoke. Then, one by one, we passed the candle. The person holding the light got to say what they were thankful for that day. And the candle passed until all eight of us plus guests sitting with us as family saw the glow of candle light in the faces of each other. The lights snapped on and the eating begun. Reflection and contemplation, the deep knowing, the deep wisdom way happens at the table in our house. May the wisdom way emerge as the open road out of here.

1 comment:

  1. Valerie, What would it feel like just to believe that you are also becoming up close and personal with your soul and the good in you? In that quiet, celebrate the unique being that you truly are.
    Just BE and know that you a piece of that mirror of humanity.
    To Be a human BEING, rather than a human DOING is a good thought to remember. Please just BE and feel the comfort of that.
    Love you, Joan