“I met a man who showed me my life.”
This is what the Samaritan woman said after her life changing, five minute meeting with Jesus at the well where she had come to draw water. The woman with five husbands and one lover, the woman most people would consider disposable, he considered valuable.
I’ve always felt quite close to those dark women that hover in the gospel stories of Jesus’ encounters, always searching the planet for a safe place to call home and ending up trapped, on the wrong side of town; their personas seemed to function like magnets to the Christ Spirit. Perhaps it was the beauty of their wildness that brought out the compassion of the Divine.
But it happened to me, too, not long ago, I met a person who showed me my life, the potential of all the gifts in me suddenly unfolded like a movie plot about the possibility of me. Some people in this life are seers, not in the superficial kind of psychic way, the ones who charge you a hefty fee for telling you what you might like to hear, that you are a reincarnated princess of some exotic, sunken city and you somehow accidentally fell into this realm where no one really understands your royal attitudes and dispositions. Not in the kind of televangelist or faith healer way, there was no exploitation or the laying on of hands. No, real seers will see you as you are, where you are and show you the beauty of your interior life for free because they understand they are passing on a gift that never belonged to them anyway and the more they channel this gift, the more it becomes real in their own hearts. A sacred, holy and reverent thing that often feels like the games of children. Serious play, that’s how real seeing works, it is an exchanging of the gift of wonder, often without the benefit of conscious reasoning.
If anyone would come into the kingdom of heaven, they must become like a little child, Jesus said.
We have a hard time seeing ourselves, who we really are, that is, the God light in us is often dimmed by our over functioning, technologically stimulated, caffeine driven, entertainment fixated, chemically enhanced, always performing, frantic, barely clinging to sanity self. There simply is little space for the wonder of us to enter into our lives and find space to live and breathe, or perhaps birth a new constellation.
We seem to be obsessed with all the ways in which we fail to see God in the world, or we go to the opposite end of the spectrum and claim that God’s judgment is one of wrath and violence visited upon all of those who refuse to follow a set of narrow rules. While we are consumed with the desire to see something sacred, to belong to something truly good, to get a read on God, we tighten our grip of control over our experience, and that tightness, we might call it uptightness, blocks the very experience we crave and need. We only begin to locate the wonder and mystery in ourselves when we open up and allow God to read us, when we become vulnerable to the Divine, opening our hearts like a storybook, to new possibility.
We read about God all the time, but being read by God is an entirely different experience. It often requires the presence of another, someone who is also seeking to be read by God, to be seen, to open up the heart and take a drink of living water. As a friend is fond of saying, “Our God may be One but it takes two to find Him/Her.” We need to be seen by those who are also on the soul’s journey, for it is in holy friendship that we begin to trust that there is something out there greater than our fear, an experience of Divine love, potential for creation.
In ancient times, there were many seers roaming the land, throughout the history of the people of God, in the Old Testament, we called them the prophets, those diviners who knew where the living water of Spirit was located. In the Old Testament, as Israel moved from loose, tribal affiliations to a more established and united monarchy, seers took on the title of Prophets, women and men who were mediators between the Divine and human realms; many were appointed by the royal court as official court prophets. By the time Jesus came along, these prophets were out of business, the written history (scrolls) had taken precedence over extemporaneous prophesying, as unpredictable as it was, a civilized society needed a more stable form of interpreting the Divine. The written canon (that became the Bible) could be interpreted and this process began to replace the ancient art of seeing.
But Jesus was from the old school; he was a seer, a healer, a Diviner in the larger sense. In the practice of the art of seeing, he broke down the barriers between the rigid, established religious order and the wild and holy Spirit that sought real change in the hearts of people, he brought the sacred back to life in everything he saw and touched, in him, the world was seen by God and was formed into a new creation. Those who opened their hearts to him were changed forever, they were seen, healed, seen through and through, by the Divine and it brought about real change in their lives, holy change, sacred change. Their souls were born into the world through being seen by the true Holy.
It feels a lot like chaos when you are seen by the Divine, when you begin to awaken to the gift in you, but chaos is the beginning of the new creation. It can be through another person, an event, a book, an encounter that points you toward your soul’s journey, to a Divine appointment with the Creator. This happened to the Samaritan woman, too, an explosion, a chaotic intervention in her life, a life in which she had become inescapably trapped, all with the suggestion that she might understand the gift that lived inside of her. “If only you knew the gift,” Jesus said to her, “if only you knew.” Embracing the potential of that gift in herself set her life on a new path.
Something goes off inside of you that feels like an explosion when you encounter the suggestion that you not only know the gift inside of you, but that you begin to act fully out of complete reliance upon the power of that gift, the gift that is connected to the eternal. It is a reorientation to a way of life that we are not accustomed to in our world, the soul’s journey. But the chaos subsides, stabilized by Divine love, and leads the way into new creation, in God we are a new creation, the old world passes away, the endless searching for a person or a place to call home, we have a new fullness, a new space, a holy comforter and companions for the journey.
The lure into the soul’s journey is something we all feel at one time or another. If we say yes to the soul, God will bring encounters and people into our lives that give us the courage to journey forward, more deeply, into the manifestation of the soul’s life in the world. As we do, we learn to navigate by a different system, the system of the Divine, the Holy Spirit, we become more stabilized in this system, the sacred in us and in the world. In the manifestation of the soul’s life in the world, we become part of a greater system of life creation, new possibility and hopeful imagination for the world. In Christianity, we call this the reign of love on earth, the kingdom come, the point at which we come to know love as the most powerful force in the universe and we learn to navigate the world, that is the new creation in us, by the stars of Divine love.
Who is showing you your life? Do you know the gift that you are?