Rev. Ray Anderson, our guest Minister, gave a profoundly personal and engaging sermon this past Sunday. I can’t help but refer to these talks as sermons, a relic from my old ways. In a new day, a new earth, and a new consciousness, these talks are more like “shares”, a sharing of divinely-inspired aha moments, spiritual eurekas or enlightened realizations. There is always a refreshing absence of “Thou Shalt Nots” in these talks, an acknowledgment that whatever missteps we’ve taken, mistakes we’ve made, or sins (Self-Inflicted Nonsense) we’ve committed, it’s all a part of our life’s journey.
The title of his talk was “Remembering Who I Am.”
The philosophy that Rev. Anderson espouses is that our essence is divine. All of us – not just popes and priests, saints and sinners – but all of us, whether we realize it or not, are borne of divinity.
There is no bone of contention there. The bone that supports the framework of all spiritual traditions is that there is an Invisible Power back of all things, underneath all, in all, through all. It is this Invisible Power -- most often called God, sometimes Father-Mother-God, this “No Thing” (in Buddhism) -- that created us. As a creation of this Invisible Power, we are a part of it, animated by it.
As we become more and more conscious of this fundamental Truth, then we cease living as humans with only occasional glimmers of our own God-beingness, and begin to live more like fully-aware spiritual beings with only fleeting moments of human difficulties.
Not to be airy-fairy, of course. As our Muslim brothers like to say,
but tie the camels down.”
Rev. Anderson shared his story about the death of his daughter, an all-too human event, this past Valentine’s Day. According to the Reverend, his daughter’s quick and untimely transition from the physical realm to the “other side” was cause for grief and profound loss, but it also presents an opportunity for him to develop a different kind of relationship with his daughter on another, deeper level – the spiritual level.
I was in rapt attention listening to Rev. Anderson when my seatmate at church started weeping. Her mother had just died the month before and the talk broke her. I hugged her close as her tears ran down my shoulder and soaked my arm.
I don’t know why the talk didn’t break me. Instead it fortified me. This Sunday was the 29th death anniversary of my father who I love and miss with every breath of my life. I don’t know if time has healed the wound. But somewhere over the years I had learned to develop a relationship with my father beyond death.
When I need help and cry at night, I cry out for my father. I cry out for my mother, too. They made manifest to me all that I believe now to be God qualities – unconditional love, generosity, joy, compassion, creativity, courage, power, abundance, prosperity, forgiveness, faith and mercy. They gave me everything I ever needed and wanted during their lifetime, and I feel blessed and grateful. Even now, when they are no longer in this physical plane, they are present in me. In my heart they will always be, my Indwelling Father-Mother-God, beyond mere flesh and blood. My deeply felt connection with them is the springboard for my conviction of our spiritual essence.
“The personal life deeply lived
always expands into truths
-- Anais Nin