hands in light

How the Light Gets in

The day before our “Living from the Heart” workshop started at the Bethlehem Centre on Vancouver Island, I decided to take a leisurely stroll around Westwood Lake. My spirit felt all over the place, and I hoped the walk would help calm my inner turmoil. The poem “Vessel” by Steve Garnaas Holmes, which inspired me to be receptive to God’s light, had moved me that morning. I deeply resonated with this message, hoping I could find the peace and openness to truly let the light in.

I made a mental note to be mindful of any moments of anxiety throughout the weekend, gently reminding myself to stay relaxed and open to God’s presence.

Due to COVID precautions, we had assigned seating that was appropriately distanced, which meant that I always had the same two people. Their presence was so comforting; it felt like returning home every time I took my seat between them.

On Saturday evening, just before we were about to start, I struck up a conversation with the person to my left. I was so engrossed and at ease that I momentarily forgot that I was the first speaker. When I glanced at my watch and realized we were already five minutes late, I quickly got everyone’s attention, asked for the Christ candle to be lit, and for the singing bowl to be sounded.

After a brief silence, I opened my binder and was hit with the realization that I had overlooked this section of my notes during my last review. My explanation of the assignments was clumsy, and I accidentally shuffled the order of the evening’s agenda, throwing off my co-facilitators, Audrey and Brent.

I apologized to them at the end of the night. Audrey reassured me it was fine, and Brent, with a smile, called me a “wonderful human.”

The following day, Audrey guided us in a prayerful imagination exercise. During it, I envisioned meeting Jesus, who treated me with incredible kindness. Reflecting on the story of Bartemeus following Jesus, I thought about how much simpler life would be if I could just do the same. Jesus, with a smile, shared, “Just so you know, I’m a wonderful human too. I don’t always know where I’m going, and I might stumble along the way.” I was taken aback, considering Jesus’ sinless nature, but then it clicked: making mistakes isn’t the same as sinning. Imperfections and errors are part of the human experience; they’re opportunities for learning and growth. They’re also how the light finds its way in.

That afternoon, as we listened to Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem,” I felt Jesus’ message echoed in Cohen’s raspy voice: “Forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Photo by Bruno Guerrero on Unsplash

Article used with permission and paraphrased from an article originally posted by Esther Hisza on her blog. An Everyday Pilgrim – October 23, 2020

Thanks Esther!


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