March 13, 2015 admin

Now the eyes of my eyes are opened

In a week which has brought the first bright sunlight of approaching spring, making the daffodils glow golden, two short meditations have somehow stuck in my mind.
I saw one of them on a poster outside Friends House opposite Euston Station yesterday: ‘Live simply. Find God in every person’. I’m not sure if the two sentences were part of the same idea or if each was sufficient to itself; but it was the second which caught my immediate attention. It was on a Quaker poster, yet the idea was familiar from the very first chapters of the Torah in which we are told that God makes every human being in the divine image and breathes into them the sacred breath of life.
‘Find God in every person’: it’s not so easy. What about when they annoy one? Or when one simply hasn’t got the time? Or when they are so familiar that one takes them for granted? In fact, how often does one ever consider with respect to another person: how do I find God in you today? What would it even mean?
Thinking about it, how often does one ask oneself, ‘Where’s God in me today?’ I wonder what it would entail to experience the world like that. How might it make a mere few minutes feel different? I can’t imagine God would not want to notice something beautiful, like the purple crocuses, or those daffodils, or the hazel catkins. I can’t think God would want me to rush past another person without pondering who they are, what might be glowing in their imagination, what could be weighing on their heart.
Opposite the poster outside Friends House sat a woman with a pile of The Big Issue on her lap. I guess she may have been from Bosnia. She’d brought her own low plastic chair on which she’d placed a cushion to make her vigil less uncomfortable. In the ten minutes I stood waiting for the person I was due to meet I don’t think anybody stopped to say a single word to her. Where was God in her today? In her loneliness, I imagine. Or perhaps in the questions she herself may have been asking about the legs rushing past her line of vision: where are you carrying your hearts and minds? Do I, or others like me, exist at all to you?
I can’t imagine God in us being anything other than our deepest, most comprehensive, most generous and least selfish sensitivities.
The second meditation is from Rachel Remen’s Kitchen Table Wisdom. It’s simply a short prayer her surgeon asked if she might share with her before her operation. She took her hand and said: ‘May we be helped here to do whatever is most right’. Rachel was, she admitted, ‘startled’ for a moment, but then she felt all her fears subside.
The two thoughts go well together. To do what is most right we need to try to sense where God may be within ourselves and in each other. It’s a very different direction of thought from working for the most convenient, least troublesome or most profitable outcome. It opens into a wider world, of sensitivities so often missed or unexplored, of wonder and awareness:
       i thank You God for most this amazing / day…
       this is the birth / day of life and love and wings…
       (now the ears of my ears awake and
       now the eyes of my eyes are opened)   E E Cummings

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