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People of Light

Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetop.” (Matthew 10:26-28)

Last night I watched the summer solstice sunset and the sunrise over Stonehenge thanks to Facebook Live. I watched the sun slowly disappear and then the stones and then, before I went to bed, though the sky was cloudy, I watched the stones reappear and then the sun. It was a little thrill and a remembering what it felt like to be in that sacred place a couple of years ago with my sisters. The secrets of Stonehenge, and other mysterious places like it, are mostly lost to us, but their existence points to wisdom known by our ancestors that we only now seem to be rediscovering—we are all deeply interconnected—with each other, with every living thing, with the earth itself, with the universe, with those past and those yet to come, and with the Source of Being. Jesus spent his whole life trying help us really know that Truth. And here we are, more than 2000 years later, still not quite getting it, as if it’s one of those things that are still concealed, yet to be revealed.

What is it that conceals Truth from us, even if we desire to see and know it? Jesus tells us in the first words of today’s reading: Fear no one! If we let go of our fear, he says, all will be revealed. Sometimes gradually like a sunrise, sometimes instantaneously like a flash of lightning. We’ll see, even if only for a moment, what God has been trying to show us that has been shrouded by the darkness of our fear. And once we’ve seen it, we can’t UNsee it. Once we’ve heard those Divine whisperings, they’ll niggle at us until, at last, we acknowledge their Truth, and eventually we will be empowered to move through our fear and speak of them in the light of day and even from the rooftops.

It seems to me that we’ve been living in a perfect storm that is shaking us out of our stupor. Very early in this pandemic, the former medical director of the state of Ohio, where I live, put it beautifully. She said, “I don’t see this pandemic shutting us down. I see it waking us up.” And so it seems that many if not most of us are much more aware of how my health, or lack of it, is bound up with yours and, by extension, all the people with whom you and I live, work, play and pray.

And then came the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police that all of us have seen numerous times on our TV screens. And we cannot UNsee the knee on his neck or UNhear the dying man calling for his mama. The Truth of our deeply rooted racism and our pervasive white privilege has been revealed again and it’s now clearer than ever that it’s the responsibility of every human being to be sure we get it once and for all, and make long-lasting personal and systemic changes. The welfare of every person is bound up with mine and yours.

If ever there was a time for our present generations to be fearful, it’s now. Our physical, moral and spiritual lives all seem to be threatened. And yet, fear serves no purpose, and even hinders our healthy responses to the challenges we face. We can’t allow fear’s darkness to cloud our vision of the Truth we have seen so clearly in these days. We are people of Light. We are called to BE light, each in our own way. And make no mistake, even the smallest of our lights is essential and important for the illumination of the whole world.

So fear not, friends. We’re like the circle at Stonehenge. We stand together, in darkness of night, and in the clear light of day. Some of us are leaning a bit more than others, some have tumbled down, some are missing a few parts and others have nearly crumbled. But we remain as a sign of the Wisdom of the ages past, and pointing to the One who is holding us together in love and light. And this place we stand is holy ground.

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Mary van Balen Recent comment authors
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Mary van Balen
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Thank you, Anita. As always, your words shed light on our present moment and nurture hope!