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Beside Restful Waters

“We all have the same objective gift, but different ways of saying yes and consenting to it.”

-Richard Rohr

In the book “Meditations from the Mat”, Rolph Gates and Katrina Kenison make the following comment: “Devotion itself, however, cannot be sidestepped: it is an essential element of the yogic path.”

Last week, we read a poem written by Rev. Neil Zinthefer about the little drummer boy. In this poem, the little drummer boy had a crippled hand. The stranger encouraged the little boy to find that gift that only he possessed. Then he encouraged the little boy to practice the gift as his prayer to God. In his practice, the boy heard music. He was asked to share it with baby Jesus.

Today, we hear Richard Rohr remind us that we all possess the same objective gift. He refers to this gift as our Divine DNA. We have a sacred, inherent purpose with individually unique ways of expressing this gift.

As a practicing addict, I was certain that I was worthless. The control of my addictive nature was in total conflict with anything I would have considered Divine or sacred. However, for those of us who are experiencing the freedom of sobriety, we are in the transforming, rising from shame to grace. Our pain is directing us to an objective gift, that essential element which can be practiced as our prayer to our God. The result is our joy to give back. The purpose of our sobriety is to offer our stories of experience, strength and hope to others suffering from addiction.

Some of you reading this may not be recovering from addiction. However, I have yet to meet anyone who is not carrying the agony of some gift of trauma. What is your trauma? What is the injury to your soul that may be the wall between you and peace, serenity, fullness of life? Will you practice sharing your story to make space for your healing and ours?

What is your objective gift? What is your unique expression of prayer to our God? What is it that you give to me in your practice of life that keeps me sober?

Our connection to each other can be a demanding gift.

Yoga is one way to practice our gift. Working the 12 steps is a way to practice our gift. Continuing to grow our conscious contact with God is a way to practice our gift. Each of these practices requires that I make space for God. We make that space in the simplest of practices by choosing the focus of our devotion. Do I focus on the trauma or the gift? I have to practice the focus process. That is the beauty and benefit of prayer, meditation, and connection with someone greater than myself.

The result is growing awareness of presence. I become more aware of you and your story. Empathy expands. Compassion blossoms. The evidence of my God becomes more subtle and awesome. We are lovers and beloved.

And the greatest of these is love.

The greatest of these is love.

A little boy with a crippled hand learns to play a drum. His practice is his prayer of love.

I practice listening and hear your story. You bless me. Your story is your expression of love.

We share our pain. Our sharing makes space for God’s love. We connect.

We each have a different way of consenting to our gift, and we are love.

We are love.

We are the evidence of God.

I rest beside the water. (It will thaw soon.) Meantime, bundle up and live in hope.


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