When we say we have faith in God, and pray to our Father who art in heaven – Abba, The Word, Our Lord, or other reference to the energy of the universe – are we not really praying to connect with the divine inside us all?
When we look at Jesus Christ many if not most are drawn to the man; perhaps though, we might better think of the Christ-like qualities within us, rather than the robed rebel who seemed to cause trouble as much as he did good?
Jesus spread glad tidings to men; trying to tell us that the kingdom of heaven is here on earth, right now in this very present moment. Yet then, as today, we choose daily to see only the bad in the world, to be tempted to see worst around us. The devil within and without, if you will.
Our newspapers and televisions are full of these horrors.
But where are the millions of happy stories, the countless smiling faces, the daily miracles in our news? Too few to give us the courage we need to know that ‘everything will be just fine, just as it should be’.
Perhaps we should take more care of the Christ in us? By doing so, we will start to acknowledge these divine qualities in others: the kindness in human hearts, the goodness, the shining energetic part of their being that gives us Life as we know it.
Is maybe the Christ figure and his stories and the words of how he was made man and sacrificed himself for our sins, not really about one man? But a tale for us all to learn from? A story about us all? A figurative, a myth on some level, a fairy tale for us to remember the helpless child, born ultimately alone and severed in sharp shock from its source; and yet also the magic and God-like in the miracle of any child’s birth and incarnation in to our reality?
That tiny child that as a baby feels rather than thinks – in fact can only feel, can only be in the present for it has no past and cannot know what the future means. Scientific studies indeed show that it is at leas 18 months before infants start to discern themselves as separate from the world around them; and a few months later enter ‘the terrible twos’ (as so many parents can attest to) as the infant child starts to test the boundaries of its growing awareness and reality.
And then, as that child as it grows, he or she can lead us to laugh deep within us at their naïve but deep powerful wisdom of simple matters we too often forget as adults.
This is the child in us all that also has felt abandoned for so, so long, that needs the love of a parent more than can ever be given by human endeavour, no matter how hard the parent tries. That is that fatal wound of being human; of suffering as much as we experience joy; perhaps of us actually being that living sacrifice? Maybe this is what is meant when Jesus spoke of these words?
I do not believe in religion, but I believe in the power of stories: the countless words that at times have been wickedly twisted to keep ourselves from touching the God within us and the love of the Christ that is there too – in each and every one of us. This is the world’s shame – both by those who keep the power of enlightenment from us in the manipulation of one true and perfect answer to contentment; and the sadness of so many who lack courage to challenge what we are fed daily by our media and others.
It is nothing to do with literal words as some will often cry out with regards to religious texts. The bible are the words of man, not the words of God. It has had many translations, much is relevant as much many will find irrelevant. But there is a divine and simple message within its pages, despite the best efforts of revisionists or just as guiltily those to try to take it so very literally.
The words are there to provide a story, a setting. The bible is a set of stories; fairy tales if you will. There is nothing wrong with that. Fairy tales do not always have happy endings outside of Disneyland, but they do provide a compass through the brambles and thorns of our lives. We love them as children for they touch the inner truth within us. This is why they are so powerful and still so loved.
And so loved are we, if we but open our eyes around us.
Breath in all of life, all of the moments of the universe in one breath. Live without thinking, feeling our heart bound in our chests and in that moment reach out our arms to the world. To embrace it all – the love, the beauty, the crisp nature of living. And yes, the sadness and sacrifice that comes with being incarnate human. As Christ tried to explain two thousand years ago and as others around us – friends, family, strangers – try to show us each and every day in the here and now.
I have no answers to how we can do this. But it felt important enough to write, even with my eyes half open, brain half asleep, temptations of wine and fags before me, but fingers typing what my heart and soul wanted to say above all:
“Embrace the Christ within. You are your own mother and father. You are whole. You are perfect. You are a living sacrifice. There is something truly powerful above all else in the universe with the nature of our very existence. We must just find our faith, through tears, through pain, through laughter, through love.
Know that we do not have to loiter in the darker and more painful parts of our live; if we only dare to look behind us we will not find the monster we so fear, but our Lord God, our spirit, and us. Always loved, always cared for and far, far stronger than we ever really can believe.”
And so this, my friends, is the mystery of my faith and my love.
God bless us all.