The late Fred Rogers, of "Mr. Rogerís Neighborhood," attended seminary and there took courses on how to preach. He recalled that once his wife and he were worshiping in a small church with friends. Fred was in the middle of one of his preaching classes, learning how it 'should be' done. During the sermon, by a man likely at least age eighty years, Fred noticed what he judged to be mistakes. When the sermon ended, he turned to one of his friends, planning to say something critical about the sermon. He stopped himself, seeing tears running down her face. She whispered to him, "He said exactly what I needed to hear." Said Rogers, many years later, "That was really a seminal experience for me. I was judging and she was needing, and the Holy Spirit responded to need, not judgment."
There is that within us each, this knows truly and deeply what our heart longs for, a grace that graces in ways we cannot foresee, through persons and ways we could not have known and would not have dreamed of. The more we allow this unseen grace to work within us and through us, the more we see it showing up in our lives.
What's this "Holy Spirit" that Fred refers to? I mean, I understand how it's used in Christian religion. But how do you understand this for those not in a religion or not in the Christian religion?
I do not understand it, have never understood it, never will ~ and, thankfully. How could I so deeply trust with my life something or someone I could understand anyway? Why would I want to understand any mystery? This unspeakable-within is more intimate with our heart than we are, knowing us more intimately than we know ourselves, surprising us with grace when we most need it, and when we do not appear most to need it, and in ways we could not have worked out on our own. In this sense, the gracefulness is intangible in presence and action. It is not pragmatic in the sense we think of being practical, yet is more practical, more logical even, than we ourselves are and can be. And it always comes to us as a gift, and all it gives as a gift, even as the word "grace" is the word for "gift."
What can we most do to invite this grace, this spirit?
Trust and agree for it to work in others and yourself as it works, not as you decide in advance it should work. The universe has potentially infinite potential and possibilities, so do not put any walls around want can be, for you, for anyone, for the world, for Earth. Alan Cohen, who writes based on principles in A Course in Miracles, says, in The Grace Factor, "Life is the great lover beckoning you to let it enfold you in its arms." So, let us let it and expect to be surprised positively, again and again and again and.... One of the prayers I most recommend for persons, religious or nonreligious, is simply "Yes."
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*The theme of "Lotus of the Heart" is 'Living in Love beyond Beliefs.' This work is presented by Brian K. Wilcox, of Maine, USA. You can order Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, through major online booksellers.