Saturday, July 08, 2006

More life, please

Pain isn't the only thing that opens up places in our hearts. What about the "wow" factor of certain experiences, encountering beauty, or really connecting with another person?

Some places in my heart came to be by having and raising children. I was surprised by joy and amazement in observing and bonding with each of my 3 tiny sons. How could they be so different from one another, and how could I learn so much about the unconditional love of my Father God by parenting them? In laughing at the funny things they said and did my heart opened even more. When I was expecting my middle son, I didn't see how I could have more love to share. I felt I was using 100% of my love 100% of the time with Jeff in our lives. But I found that I had plenty more love when Nick arrived, and again for Ben. Even now as they move into adulthood and become much more independent, I'm finding new places in my heart while our relationships shift. Whenever God brings new friends into my life, the potential is there for deep connection and the same kind of inner expansion process.

There is an almost indefinable something that happens when we encounter beauty. In an instant we can be overwlemed by a glimpse of God seen afresh through nature, art, music or something from our everyday lives. Our hearts swell with gratitude. We are changed. We think of being more alive at certain times and with certain people. And it's true. Life has increased because we have a greater capacity for being there for it, receiving it and experiencing it more fully.

"My purpose is to give life in all its they can have real and eternal life-- more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall brim, spill out and flow from the depths of the inmost being of anyone who believes in me." --Jesus (Jn. 10:10; 7:38)


Blogger Susan said...

Now I guess the trick is to be more alive in as many situations as possible.

I just finished The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris and she does a wonderful job of showing us how to do just that. She tells wonderful stories of people living and dead who were able to accomplish finding joy in the mundane, in the difficult, and in the painful moments of life.

I think it takes time to achieve that serenity. I especially liked a chapter in the book where the stories of the "senior-citizens" in the monastery are told. It seems, they do arrive at a place of wisdom and peace and joy. It gives me hope.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

hooray for Kathleen Norris and the way she writes about her heart opening up during her time at the monastery. one of my favorite books.

10:30 PM  

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