To Love Unconditionally

“Scripture is sharper than a sword. Like a scalpel, it cuts through what is diseased and damaged, cuts through lies and confusion, cuts through the stories we tell ourselves, to reveal the truth. The stories of scripture surprise, disturb, confound and, with good intention, cut. We need help and practice to listen, to receive powerful, sharp, healing words of life.”

-Br. Luke Ditewig

My life is based on pain, passion, and purpose.”

Rep. Elijah Cummins

To Love Uncondionally

Messengers from John the Baptist

11 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Today on Facebook there was a large post which said: “May Trump Get What Kennedy Got In Dallas in 1963″.  And through out Facebook there are messages of hate, and anger at Republicans and the President, and I am sure in the other areas of the country where the other side dominates we have the same type of response. It horrifies, and saddens me, that we have fallen away from respect and care for others. We condemn, vilify, and in the process our own inner selves are filled with the ghosts of hate, resentment and anger.

 Tim Shriver, Chair of Special Olympics, works with many people whom our culture excludes or disregards. Through their eyes he has come to see God’s presence in every human being. As you read Tim’s words, imagine how you might stand in solidarity with someone “on the edge,” someone who has been excluded, and see that individual through God’s eyes.

“You cannot believe in or practice intuitive consciousness as long as you exclude and marginalize others—whether it is women or people of different sexual orientations or people of religious or ethnic minorities or, in my experience, people with intellectual disabilities. My work is largely with and in support of people who have significant vulnerabilities because of intellectual disability. In many cultures these people are excluded and oppressed, though often unconsciously, even more so than other marginalized groups. . . . They are thought to be hopeless. Mostly they are ignored and forgotten.

For twenty years I have been mentored by these same people. Some might not be the best-spoken, the most articulate writers, the most celebrated thinkers, the fastest runners. And yet, despite all of that, I have met person after person who emanates a kind of radiant light. After a while, even the densest of us may have our eyes opened to that something which transcends all superficial distractions of disability: the unimaginable beauty of every person. That beauty is ours for the seeing if only we have the eyes to see, if only we pay attention.

I try to maintain those eyes as I engage in this work. At times I will pull myself out of whatever I’m doing and try to remember that I’m united with all that is. I give myself license to step away and reconnect. I fail mostly, but once in a while I succeed, and when I do, I feel like I am touching a “sweet spot” of wonder and peace. It enables me to be present to people in a way that I can communicate to them that I love them unconditionally. There are no conditions to our unity, to our oneness.

Many times I’ve watched, for instance, as a person with Down syndrome stands with a gold medal around her neck, arms raised high to a cheering crowd. I can’t look at that child, at that human being, without slipping out of dualistic thinking. Those moments are a kind of sacrament of unitive consciousness. They are “both-and” moments where shadow and light coexist in the same experience. . . . Divine energy shoots vertically through me like a force, and says, “See! Look! Pay attention to what is right in front of you! That is all you need to know!”

The message of our Gospel today is that Jesus acted in love to all, and calls those of us who follow him to do the same, to be a witness to “what is in front of you.” Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

————————————————————————

Father C. River Damien Sims,sf. D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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