Reflections from my life and work to encourage the reader to think. But not too much. After all, thinking is only needed until it is not needed... and, then, needed again. So, please think until the shades are no longer drawn over the Window. Two words to leave with you before you proceed: Wisdom shines!
* * *
Early 2000s, when a pastor in Gainesville, Florida -
Today, I sat a while with Mary. She is recovering from hip surgery again. I sat and let myself relax in the chair. I listened to her. I read her favorite chapter from the Bible - Philippians 4; I would look up and see her face smiling, especially when I read her favorite verses on faith. I noticed how meaningful, enchanting, and loving our sharing together was. I prayed for her, my hand on her head, and sensed the Presence of God with us. I left admiring the feeling of fulfillment given to my life by those few moments.
To me, those minutes with Mary affirm what [Richard] Rohr says. And, as he notes, I need to get out of the way regarding love. When I do, Love loves through me. I cannot take credit for what I felt today when visiting Mary, for it is simply how true Life always is and always has been.
* * *
The Teacher was soon to die. He called his disciples to gather about him. He asked them if they wanted to say anything to him. They spoke of love for him. After listening, he said, "Friends, for me, before my departure, let go one more thing you cling to." They wondered what he implied, thinking they had already followed his teaching to let go of everything. One asked, "Master, what's this last thing?" He replied, "Love."
Letting go of Love does not mean becoming loveless. The spiritual life introduces us to letting go after letting go, even of what we call good, righteous, holy, enlightened, virtuous, or godly. We begin with urges to let go of mundane things - but it doesn't end there. It keeps going and going from the most obvious to the most subtle, from the material to the intangible.
* * *
The symbols of hate against the symbols of love play out a conflict that does not exist. For symbols stand for something else, and the symbol of love is without meaning if love is everything. You will go through this last undoing quite unharmed, and will at last emerge as yourself. This is the last step in the readiness for God. Be not unwilling now; you are too near, and you will cross the bridge in perfect safety, translated quietly from war to peace. For the illusion of love will never satisfy, but its reality, which awaits you on the other side, will give you everything.
*A Course in Miracles. 2nd Ed. 16:IV: "The Illusion and the Reality of Love."
* * *
I saw a woman I was in a relationship with in a dream. We were walking out of a white-framed church building, much like many of the small chapels in the rural Deep South, USA, where she and I grew up. A line of other persons were going up sidesteps and entering the sanctuary when she and I were leaving.
At the time of the dream, I struggled with major inner shifts, religiously and spiritually. Something much larger than what I had been taught was demanding to be lived. The pressure of that Life-Force pressing Itself out, defying resistance, was painful and accompanied by intense emotional and physical symptoms. I could repress It but not escape It. For years, I would get relief, but only temporarily.
Such is the Life-Force of Love and its stubborn, tenacious plea within us, pressing against our borders, refusing to doom us to the anti-Love forces within and about us. We are loved infinitely, compassionately.
* * *
One of my favorite sayings, from Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet -
And think not you can guide the course of love. For love, if it finds you worthy, shall guide your course.
And it can guide our course even when we see little or no evidence it's doing so. For some of us, that may be the norm for experience. Love is before our loving feelings. Affection is dew; love is sunlight.
* * *
*Opening story, Brian K. Wilcox, "Letting Go the Love."
*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2024. Permission is given to use photographs and writings with credit given to the copyright owner.
*Brian's book is An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love. The book is a collection of poems Brian wrote based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.