if you wish to enjoy the warmth of the Sun
come out from among the cool of the shadows
if you want to taste the sweetness of the Beloved
then, pucker up your lips
* * *
The story, today, embodies the way of blessing, of Good. Something happens from the convergence, the communion enacted, that did not arise from a particular form, be that Jesus or the woman. Jesus did not give anything to the woman, the woman did not get anything from Jesus, yet both entered into communion. Something more is happening, here, and always is in moments of the communication of Grace.
* * *
In the strictest sense, we could say, "God, or no spiritual being, blesses you." As example, Jesus never claims to heal anyone. He, at times, says, "Your trust has made you whole." He never says, "I made you whole." He never says, "God made you whole" or "My Father made you whole." He never says, "You made yourself whole." Wholeness does not arise from the realm of form, regardless of it being a Jesus or a Buddha or an esteemed holy man or woman.
* * *
Jesus, in this story, is the form that provides a point of connection, of communion, of union, for this woman. Like the woman, we, too, often seek a form to connect with the formless, the visible to join with the invisible. We can do this for form and formless are not in opposition, they are already, always in agreement, and we choose, or not, to welcome that communion. We, in fact, may come to a point of no longer choosing, but, likely, only after years of consciously returning to this sharing. The ideal, which few likely grow into, is to live in the union of Love unceasing and without conscious decision to do so.
* * *
So, this dear one reaches out, and restorative power, without her speaking what she seeks, does what she seeks. This power is not Jesus, is not the woman, is not of the domain of form, but works for not opposed to it, either.
Buddha is attributed with, "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Buddha realized the unity between the invisible and the visible, as Jesus did.
Hence, in reaching out, in touching, the woman participates in the fruition of her trust, of her longing to be whole. If she had not acted to enter the communion of formless and form, by touching the tassels of the garment, the story implies she would have returned home unwhole.
See, she could not do for herself what only Grace could do, yet if she did not act to be part of the fruition of Grace, an essential component would have been left out. Then, she could not have rightly said, "I am too bad to be healed," or "Jesus did not want to heal me," or "God must want me to remain with this illness."
So the power of the woman to be part of the healing and the powerlessness of the woman to make herself whole are both shown as essential. Ironically, however, the same power and powerlessness applies to Jesus in regard to the woman. At one time, in the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks, "Of myself, I can do nothing." So, the woman and Jesus share an "I can do nothing," yet, something marvelous takes place. Here, in Grace, power and powerlessness exists in harmony, for simply are part of a wholeness the mind cannot understand, so we divide them into opposites.
We need not fear our powerlessness or our power. In matters of Grace, powerlessness provides our surrender, our openness to receive what we cannot get. Power provides the inspiration to act to enter the connection that opens the pathway for Grace to act.
* * *
While there are many ways of engaging this openness, this connection, the final is to rest quietly, in open receptivity. The Spirit already knows your unspoken need or wish. What you truly most deeply need and long for, anyway, is deeper than words, even thoughts.
* * *
How can you receive what Grace
wills for your highest good,
if you keep telling Grace what you think
is your highest good?
* * *
One may desire to begin with some verbal or nonverbal prayer, but I recommend keeping it simple, do not beg, do not pressure ~ note in the Gospel story, the woman never voices her wish to be whole, only touches the tassels in trusting. I recommend simply affirm the Presence, or Spirit, but not focusing on getting anything other than Grace Itself. Then, be quiet, and rest in the Presence, in trusting receptivity and humbleness.
Yes, insights, guidance, and assurances come from the quiet. Yet, one may find himself or herself simply restful, nothing appearing to arise but, likely, a deepening sense of peace. This deepening sense is indicated by a slowing down of the breathing, and the breathing may, at times, become almost unnoticeable. This is simply the body responding to your inviting communion. And, most likely, most specific responses arise after the time in quietness. The quietness is for drawing close to Life, communing in receptive Love with the Beloved, in mutuality. And, we may begin noticing, when outside the quiet, that things are falling into place in ways we could not have planned or done through our own effort.
* * *
Possibly, the most important point to consider is: To receive that-of-Good, draw near in loving communion with the Good. This means, in traditional language, God does not bless you as an action arising out of God and, so, separate from God, for God is blessing, and to receive God is to receive that of God. God can give us no object of prayer or desire, simply for no such can be outside God. So, as example, if I long for love and go out to find it in my own way, I risk heartache, for I am seeking love apart from openness to be blessed with the love Love is. If one lives in communion with Love, a human lover may or may not arise, but one will still enjoy Love. One, enjoying Love, enjoys love in whatever form received as gift.
* * *
So, in any moment, we can say in word or silence a simple prayer, "Your will be done." Or, "You Yourself I most pray for." Or, "A heart of trust I give to You." Or, "You are everything my heart longs for." Or, "Thank you." Or, "I love you" Or some such simple prayer.
The forms of worship, prayer, affirmation, and other means, lead us beyond means to receive what means in themselves cannot give us. A means is only a means, and at some point, we allow that to drop, and we rest in Grace. We learn over time, as we see how this Grace is operating, to expect Grace to bless, to provide, to guide. We learn this is all happening and we are part of the happening, we are not making anything happen, and our lives become filled with quiet gratitude, and Grace communicates itself through us as a means of Grace to others. Grace does this, not as an extension of the divine Being, but as the divine Being Itself, more intimate with us than our very breathing.
*Brian Wilcox. 'the Light descends'. Flickr.
(C) Brian K. Wilcox