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Me and My Faith – When I Come to End of the Road
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Insights of a Christian Mystic
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I have been in physical pain for the last 4 weeks with a blocked ear. I didn’t think a blocked ear could cause so much pain. Sometimes I have just broken down and cried. Every day, though, I have got up with the intent of continuing my amazing life.
My life is amazing because I talk to God every day and he gives me interesting things to do and say and think. Even through the pain, that is something that can’t be taken from me. I am always waiting for the the next idea, the next direction, the next piece of inspiration.
Last night I learnt that the oil I am putting into my ear must be a certain temperature and the room needs to be a certain temperature too. I learnt that the hard way, and suffered for sleeping in a room not quite warm enough. Today I feel “Why? Why do have to feel so low today, so tired, so broken?”
Of course these are the questions I asked God and then He spoke to me of courage. He said that I should focus on my courage, rather than on the things I can’t do or feel I am getting wrong. God says that this is a lesson in believing in my courage.
And when my ear finally gets unblocked, I guess I will be that little bit stronger and a bit more courageous than I was before.
“Faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.”
I have believed this for a long time and I always will.
Hi, I was lying in bed last night struggling to sleep. This is not a mild sort of struggle. It is a real ‘I can’t sleep!’ It has been going on for a long time and I would say that it is because I don’t feel grounded. So sometimes I talk to God.
Last night I said ” God, Why do I have this problem?” and God replied “Because you are not fully in your power” I asked “What stops me?” and God said “You.” I said “How?” God said “Well, you have this experience of me. Why don’t you write about it?”
So here I am willing to write. I find it hard to write about my relationship with God. It is like someone asking me to write about my husband. I mean there is so much I could say . . . where would I start?!
So here is an attempt to explain how I go about things in my day to day life. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t quite say “Hello, God” but I immediately wonder what my day is going to be about. I check into my feelings, my thoughts and how my body feels. This always gives me some clues. Well, this is all I used to do . . but these days it is a little more complicated. 3 years ago I realised I had an unusual experience of being very sensitive to the light. As the light changes, so do my feelings, thoughts and how I feel in my body.
For instance today, on January 9th, I am seeing a little less red in the light that I think most others would see and a little more violet that most others would see. The lack of red causes me to feel ungrounded and the violet light causes to me to feel full of ideas and inspiration. Understanding more of why I feel the way I do enriches my experience of God. I think “Wow . . God is speaking to me through my relationship with the light. This is amazing!”
I would say that living by the light is like having an extra anchor for my soul. It takes me deeper and helps me feel more connected to myself, my environment and of course ultimately . . . God.
I have visited many churches and sometimes been inspired by the preaching, sometimes moved by the worship, sometimes touched by the sense of community but I have never quite felt at home. I have always had a slight sense of isolation as I sit in my seat and the service unfolds. I start wondering about the person next to me and wonder what their life is like and how they are touched and moved by God but when the service closes and we speak, it is only of surface things and the depths within both of us remain untouched.
Occasionally someone has wanted to know what bought me to their church and when I have said God told me to come, they have given me a puzzled look and said “You mean you felt you should come.” And I repeat “No, God told me to come!” And I wonder but stop myself from saying “Doesn’t God speak to you too?” On other occasions people have asked me directly “Are you a Christian?” Oh how I hate labels! Of course the person wants to know whether I recognised myself as a sinner and asked God to help me with my life on a specific day at a specific time. Well, as it happened I did but there was so much more. On that day I opened myself to the great mystery that me and God are indeed one. Since that day we have walked and talked and laughed and cried together as I have walked the twisty turny journey of my life. To reply to the question “Are you a Christian?” I would incur the same pain as if someone asked me “Are you a wife?” or “Are you a mother?” How deeply impersonal and how wounding to my soul.
At a different sort of church people don’t seem bothered at all by such matters. In fact the minute the service closes it is as if we haven’t been in church at all. The conversation is only of how well you timed your roast dinner to be ready and who is making teas at the village fete. The word ‘community’ is used a lot and there is much ‘doing’ and organising. But, I think to myself – I am hungry deep down in my sprit – hungry for some touch of another soul, hungry for connection, a moment of realness. I want someone to hear me, I want someone to see me but I feel invisible. I want to hear and see another but there is no chink of vulnerability big enough for me to crawl through. I shake the vicar’s hand, respond to the comment about how my son has grown and pass down the church steps, unnoticed and unknown. I had so many thoughts, feelings, ideas, gifts and talents that I wanted to bring but there is no room for such things here. I came to meet others on their amazing journey of faith but I wasn’t met.
Where can I go now? Like many of us, the answer is ‘nowhere’. On a Sunday morning I will stay home in the warmth and intimacy of my family. I will go walking in the hills and fields near our home and watch the flocks of sparrows chattering in the hedges. I will make junk model dinosaurs with my son and listen to him giggling with glee when we can’t seem to make the head stick on the body. I will do anything to make life flow through my body, interest my mind, light up my emotions but I will not go to church where I feel no life and my soul simply goes to sleep.