In my room here at the nursing home, there is little for me to do. I can no longer see to read, I can’t hear, and now my rapidly waning strength keeps me from my walks in the garden. But I can still talk to my dear Friend, Jesus, I can still sing, I can still lift those I love in prayer, and I can still relive my precious memories. As I reflect anew on my inner journey, travel once again by memory, from decade to decade. Each of my nine decades has affirmed one reoccurring theme: a call, the cry to let go into the Light.
For years my hidden life and my visible life were in great conflict and tension. My visible life was imprisoned in guilt, fear, and unspeakable pain. At the same time, the haunting voice of my inner life was gently inviting me to stay, to embrace my pain, to fall headlong into the suffering. At forty-two, the intensity of this relentless struggle sent me reeling into a debilitating clinical depression. It was here in the darkest of my times that God’s mercy not only awakened me to its Light but to a life-changing truth: that the Light was not only the drawing power of God’s great love but was the very presence of Divine Love Itself. I felt a surge of assurance, a freedom I had never felt before. In retrospect, I was closer to the Source of all healing, the Center of the Circle of Love, than I ever could have imagined at that time.
Very, very slowly, in faith and obedience, one step at a time, I came to understand that to reach my destination, the Center of the Circle, intimacy with the Beloved would cost me nothing less than everything. Again and again, I was called to periods of solitude and silence, intensive listening, discerning choices, and depths of patient waiting and trust. Yet as I chose to yield to the draw of the Light, to gaze at its luminous field, I began to see and to perceive my visible life with new eyes, new ears, and a new heart. I began to feel this Light and Love healing and connecting all the pieces of my broken and shattered life. At last, I came to a deep inner knowing of Whose and who I am, ultimate freedom, and the supreme gift of healing and wholeness. I sensed the Sacred Source at the center of the circle drawing all things into Itself and I, as His chosen, being drawn freely along with it. There was no resistance.
Entering this Light filled me with an abiding presence and peace, a quiet strength and certainty. It continues now to sweep me along in its divine love flow spilling over with the beauty, mystery, and wonder of God, weaving an ever-deepening tapestry of Love, the Face of Christ, the explosive story of my heart.
I have shed the green and sleeping leaves of youth
Stripped by the wind of the spirit down to truth.
Emptied and alone, I stand uncluttered.
A lens for lives beyond my own:
A frame through which another’s fire may glow;
A harp from which another’s passion soars.
Blow through me, O wind of spirit and of life.
So simple and so humble have I come.
Pared down at last to bone
So fragile yet so fearless have I grown.