Monday, August 10, 2009

My "Song of Songs"

 Like a truth ~ I did not really understand.

Till now...  

This poem, dating back to my college years, still speaks to me.  

I found a rock upon the beach
A weather-beaten, battered rock
Who loved to stand and bear the waves
And greet the rushing waters - day by day.
I bound myself to that rock I found -
I could not tear myself away.
Two fearless lovers we became
And met the rushing waters in our way.
But rocky coast turns into sand
When time and waters have their way.
And two who stood to face the waves
Turned into sand and blew away.

"The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God... In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, but they are at peace."  [Wisdom 3:1-2,3]

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mystery lifts its veil ...

There are times when Holy Mystery manifests itself to us.  Dying is one of those times.  And interestingly, the metaphor of death or dying often describes the entry of Holy Presence - into our midst - beyond the veil of normal seeing.  As if one had happened upon a boundary between the world of sense and the world of spirit:

Photo ~ Courtesy of brotherjohn OED

This story was told to me by a witness, whose veracity I can vouch for.  She sat behind me in a seminar a few years ago, and related the events within days of their occurrence.  Some months later, via email, she assured me that my recollection of her story was accurate.  It is a very simple story.  Yet profound.

My source, a social worker employed by a home hospice, coordinates chaplaincy visits for individuals receiving hospice care at home.  The hospice serves anyone within a county-wide area, who is dying at home.  Thus, nothing out of the ordinary was to be expected, when she went to the home of a dying patient, along with her supervisor - a man unknown to the patient.

As soon as she introduced her supervisor, the patient immediately said to him:  I didn't know that you knew ____."  And her supervisor's response was:  How do you know that I knew ____?  (Knew.... because ____ was dead.)

And the patient answered:  Well, he's sitting right there!  (pointing to thin air) And he just told me.

Now that is the story.

Make of it what you will.....

But the story is true:  My source is entirely credible. 

Something there is - which is way beyond our ken.  Something which the dying often give witness to.  Which spiritual traditions and sacred writings give witness to.  Something which manifests itself within holy individuals; and I have met some.  Something which can break through normal events - so they shine with mysterious translucence - as if a veil were momentarily lifted, as if one could see from one world into another Reality...  one which transcends our world entirely or marks it as mysteriously shot through with holiness.