In December of 2001, I woke every morning to the pulse of a heart against my mind. After a week, a woman’s voice came gently, “Let me in. Let me in.” More and more persistent each morning, it finally insisted “LET ME IN!”

I surrendered my barriers, feeling as though a wall was falling around me, and had a vision of a woman looking at me over her left shoulder, offering the affirmation:

You are a beautiful man. Do not allow yourself to be destroyed.

In December of 2010, a solstice meditation placed me before a tree in a forest. Its roots spread and I stepped into the earth’s womb. Tokens were promised: something for the mouth, something for the pocket, and something to cradle in the hands. Taking up my gifts, I left, to be told that the fruit in my pocket was a gift from the past and the key in my mouth was strength for the future. But held in the hands was the thing I had to surrender: the woman that I could love.

I turned to the sacred tree, and offered her spirit to it, pleading “Find yourself, and return to me.”

Are you here yet?

Dreams of a Worthy Man

When I took my sons out to Georgia three years ago, my uncle led the way up the highway to his boat house. He pulled over at a wilderness station, and as I dropped down from the driver’s seat of his VW bus, I was immediately ravished by the lush exuberance of the woods. He made his way into the station for some purpose, my sons following, but I stayed in communion with the sense of life that had become so desicated in Southern California. Eventually, he came out and said, “You know, there’s an exclusive resort on the other side of the hill.”

I don’t know why, but I thought of that when my son started talking about Jimmy Carter. Since Mr. Carter’s illness was made public, I have had this urge to go out to Plains and sit in on his Sunday school. When I shared that with Greg, he said “Well, maybe you should.”

A couple of Saturdays back, as I was puttering around the house in the morning, I found myself visualizing what would happen in that event, finding myself guided into a role as interpreter of a passage of scripture. As is perhaps obvious from my writing here, it’s hard for me to couple my experience of life to the world of daily affairs. So I fumbled around with big picture issues – meaning of life and process of Christ abstractions – until I finally struck on “You know, what I really want to do is to celebrate you, and the contributions you have made to society.”

I haven’t gone out to price travel to Plains – I’ve been distracted by other issues. But it keeps on popping up, and became particularly pointed this morning. I found myself standing in a long line outside of the church, and realized that I didn’t actually need to be in the class. I went to the door and introduced myself to the Secret Service agent, saying that I just wanted to offer Mr. Carter my blessing.

So I was ushered into a waiting room. He sat calmly in a chair. I walked up and placed my hands on his shoulders, and then on his scalp, trying to feel the shape of the wound that he carried. A chair appeared behind me, so I sat to embrace him gently, rubbing my hand in circles on his back over his heart. As I laid my left temple against his, I felt this shaft of anger and fear piercing his mind – the anger and fear of those that had fought to sustain control against the influence of the tolerance and caring that Mr. Carter manifests so consistently.

I moved my hand so that my fingers interrupted the painful flow, and sent healing behind it. With the pressure relieved, his grace bloomed outwards into the conduit, relieving fear and pain as it went.

He was eager to leave at that point, but I held him still. “I want them to see your radiance,” I explained. I pressed our hearts more firmly together, and arched as the power of Christ filled him with joy. As he took the floor, I watched in the doorway as the gathering stared in awe.