Your Eye Is A Lamp

October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Luke 11

33 “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket.[k] Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

34 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness.

I can totally dig those words. Maybe it sounds silly or strange; but so often my prayer has been a simple request: help me to shine your light in the world.

Another part of me, the angry part, calls fraud. Really, the whole deal just sounds way too idealistic. It is like something you want to believe, that you hypnotize yourself into believing. Once in a while, something rears up in me and says “no”.

Still, there is a knowledge in the flesh. I know what I know about peace, kindness, respect, the kinds of things Jesus asked from us. You can feel right from wrong.

Something more is at play. I don’t know what it is; but I practice these rituals to give me the patience and fortitude to wait on the answer. Once my priest at Saint Ann’s, Lisa, said to me, “Just pick a religion and go with it.”

The greatest value seems to be less in the beliefs and more in the habit. A reshaping of the will framed by prayer and fellowship helps keep the focus on personal growth. Personal growth leads to more mature relations; and that leads to greater peace.

Today was one of those awesome days when Kris went out with us. We shopped, ate and played together. The babe grew evermore close to her, and to the animal family. “Kris, pick me up!” or “Kris, carry me!” or “Kris M–! Kris M–! Kris M–!” lit the air as they connected. In spite of the rain, sun radiated from within our new family

In today’s scripture, Jesus talks about our perceptions. Will we perceive this difficult world through the lens of God’s love and be sustained by the peace that comes from that; or will we see only darkness and become dark ourselves?

As we went about our day, Kris and I observed the distant, unhappy crowd. “This is a very depressed area,” she said. “People are depressed.” What a wonderful position to take when regarding a sea of bitter faces. Instead of speaking bitterly herself, she offered understanding. Chill waters edged in at our elbows; but with each other to hold on it, we had the fortitude to keep swimming.

Your eye is a lamp. So, it’s not just about being filled with light or dark. The thing that fills us will be the thing we reflect. Lamps shine light out, not into themselves. Just like in parenting, my own wounds sometimes prevent me from reflecting love in all of my actions; my own darkness can come out into the world. They also prevent me from completely loving others in the way that Jesus described.

These are not good days for me. This is a very, very bad time of year. In a few days, it will be Arthur’s memorial day. As much as I try to tune out, it chews at me from behind until it’s had its fill. I can’t escape it. And it never gets full.

I listen to my heart. I hunger after peace and justice, and try to grow into someone who reflects it. My depression, weakness and grief rise up, and I swallow against its burn. I sip repeatedly at the communion table to try and wash it down. Teach me, Lord.

Buddhist Goddess of mercy and compassion, Kuan Yin, teaches, “The incredible process of being human allows for the higher self to
acknowledge and extract divinity from one’s trials and tribulations.
The truth is one must be fully human for the divine part of self to be
more in tune. Rejecting the human body assures one will have to come back, return to the lessons here on earth. It means ‘you didn’t get it’.”

In the end, I hope I extract some divinity from all this. I have my ear to the ground and my willingness right up front.

Ecclesiasticus 24: 7-8

Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose territory should I abide? “Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent…

For me, this scripture talks about both a physical and spiritual home. Here, with our loving new family, we build a tender, new peace. Within, I keep my eyes on Christ and ask continually to grow in compassion, peace and understanding.

To our new family here, and the family of all life on earth: God’s peace.

The babe, as seen through the filter of Piper’s whiskers. Piper has claimed domain over the bathroom sink. They rub foreheads every time we go in.