Beside Restful Waters

“... I am compelled by my Christianity to refrain from any behaviors or judgements which arrogantly demean the dignity of another human being or cause them to lose hope.”

Cynthia Bourgeault

Reverend Bourgeault is an Episcopalian Priest, a prolific author, and a faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation with Fr. Richard Rohr.

The statement above caused me pause to ask myself: “What compels my behavior?”

What is the moral compass that gives direction to my behavior, my observations, and my judgements?

My relationship with God, Higher Power, has been shaped by a variety of religious experiences including the Roman Catholic Church and the Ojibwe Native American teachings and practices. Each of these are deepened through practices of meditation and contemplation. While there are teachings and practices of religion that have shaped my thought processes, the core of my moral compass is the relationships that offer me a deep spiritual intimacy.

There are plenty of spiritual teachings, laws and dogmas from an unlimited variety of religious perspectives. Each that I have read or been taught have a powerful and common thread: there is an ever-present evolution of life, suffering and healing (resurrection if you will). Each offers a scar from falling and standing up, and falling and standing up, and after painful and frequent falling, there is the reaching out for help - which is the substance of my healing.

When I am able to experience adequate humility, I am willing to reach out for help and begin healing. As I reach out, my arrogance begins to diminish, my judgements begin to soften, and my hope begins to enlighten my spirit. My sense of dignity for self and others grows, expands, and creates a space of peace and joy. The gifts of fear and pain, when faced with others, leads to the healing that gives purpose to life.

How many of us have searched for purpose?

What a God we have that offers pain and fear as the source of purpose. She gives us the opportunity to enter the pain and fear of others to find our own inner healing.

How is that working for us?

Where is that working for us?

How? It is through that humble posture of bent knees and looking up, reaching out and crying for help. This act, I have come to recognize, is my true act of faith. It is my recognition that I cannot – I am not making this journey alone.

Where? Anyplace you are present. Anyplace you are willing to bare your scars and share your story of the relationships that offer healing.

Together the journey continues with ups and downs, scrapes and bruises, tears and laughter. We pave the way with an evolution and revelation of the simple path of mercy and love. We pick away at the walls that and barriers threaten our journey. We practice our gifts of humility and need, and we celebrate the joys along the way.

The journey with you is what “compels me to refrain from behaviors and judgements which arrogantly demean the dignity of another human being or cause them to lose hope.”


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