Adding It Up
Add it up. Add up your life. The middle-sized things and the small as well as the big. What do you get?
When I was young it never crossed my mind that I frightened people by being who I am. I found most of the world to be daunting, even off-putting. But I found myself to be bland, dull.
Right up to the time when a well-respected Jungian told me that the reason people liked to be around me was because I was exciting and controversial. I questioned what they said about themselves. I forced them to either question their assumptions about everything and everyone or retreat back into themselves.
The people who liked to be around me liked to be challenged.
The older I’ve gotten the less I attempt to confront other humans. I’ve simply lost interest in challenging people to dig inside to explore who they are. I have become old and tired. The world that I see around me is filled with fear.
Now when I challenge someone, it is more often by accident than by design.
And so, another priest story.
This last week after Saturday Vigil all of our priests were standing in the vestibule avoiding the rain and snow outside. I shook their hands one by one. Lastly, I reached the youngest.
We’ve been out for coffee, had chats, gotten to know each other slightly.
I handed him a package. Inside was something I had found a few years earlier in Santa Fe at a Christmas bazaar. It was a nice enough cross, but I had no use for it. Nonetheless, when there was a crowd of angels all around screaming at me to buy it, I listened.
The last few years it has sat in a drawer. I had no idea why I’d bought that simple piece made of two sticks of blond wood and decorated with seashells. It certainly wasn’t for me.
Once again Saturday morning I heard the Voice. Not Michael or another angel. The Voice. God.
The Voice told me to pull the cross out of the drawer, wrap it up and take it along to church. I would see the young priest there. It was his. I was to give it to him.
That is why I wrapped it up and took it along with me Saturday afternoon.
With the other priests watching our conversation, I told the young priest my story. I’d had it a few years. The Voice had told me to give it to him. So, it was his.
The other priests were shocked that I spoke so openly about the Voice. Apparently, they’ve never realized that I am a mystic. Nor that they have probably known many other mystics over the course of their lives. Other men and women who communicate with God. Who see God.
The young man nodded his head and took it in stride.
I went off, slipping down the steps in the cold rain.
Add it up.
How many times every day do you see God?
How many times every day do you see God pictures in the media or on the news? Something that tells you there is a God. That some humans welcome such an enormous depth of evil into their lives that only acts of God can save the rest of us from their madness.
When we cooperate.
When we screw up our guts and act from the profound extent of strength and dignity accorded us by our motivation to do good. To add up all of our personal power and might.
To dare to do what is right in a day and time beset by wrongs.
Someone else may ask what you will do.
What are you doing?
The world needs your heart and soul now. All eight billion — so far — of us.
Get out on the street corners. Write letters. Put your wallet to work. Say something in whatever manner works most effectively for you.
Be the rock of Gibraltar when all others are shifting sand.