Dear Friends,

 We hope that you are safe and well.

 Today's Meditation features Joyce Rupp reminding us that one heart illuminates other hearts.

 We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!

With our love and care,

Ron and Jean

MEDITATION 530: Joyce Rupp: One heart illuminates other hearts

Reflection - December 2021

Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other

candles, so one heart illuminates another heart and can illuminate

thousands of other hearts." (Leo Tolstoy)

Once in awhile a brief encounter impacts us and lingers for a long time. Three weeks ago I was driving to the post office. As I turned a corner, I caught a glimpse of movement, looked to my right and saw a young bearded man, probably in his early twenties. He was propelling himself in a wheelchair on the sidewalk. No sooner had I glanced over than he looked straight at me, his face alight with a radiant smile. Just like that, the happiness from his smile came flying into my spirit like a gentle lightning bolt. I kept driving but I knew something changed inside of me. The “hurry hurry” slipped away. A sense of wonder arose: “I move effortlessly on my way while it takes such exertion for that person to do so. However could he give me that beaming smile?”

Synchronicity always surprises me. Two days before that swift encounter, I came across the Tolstoy’s quote. Then, the same week I read an article by Marcia Pally in Commonweal. She refers to the creation story of Isaac Luria’s from the Jewish Kabbalah, sometimes described as the “shattering of lights.” According to Luria, creation occurred when “sacred vessels that originally contained God’s light shattered under God’s brilliant power.” Creation became a “divine bioluminescence.” These endless sparks of divine light spread throughout all of creation.

Pally concludes: “…we become who we are through networks of relation with all those, near and far, who have had an impact on our lives. Thus, our flourishing requires that we see, and see to these relations. Thriving means attending to the well-being of the persons and networks that form us.”

We are now into the first week of Advent. (From the Latin, Ad-veni, meaning “to come.”) Once again, we turn our awareness to how the spark of Christ-Light comes and enters our lives. It is a season of intently re-awakening to “the Light of the World” and to remember that we, too, are amazing sources of the divine radiance that kindles our hearts with love.

Ever since seeing the bright spark of joy coming forth from the young man in the wheelchair, I’ve chosen to focus and act on a motivating question of Mark Nepo’s in The Book of Soul: “How do you carry your one soul, your one pilot light, so it might illumine all you touch and not go out?” Consequently, I’ve paused each evening to recall how I’ve shared and where I’ve welcomed the Christ-light.

Imagine how the twinkling Christmas lights can lead us to recall the Christ-light within and among us. I suggest you light a candle each Advent day. Sit quietly for a while to recall and restore the strength of divine light within you. Then listen to Velma Frye’s song “The Lantern” (“May the lantern of my life move…into all the places where light is needed.”) Then, go forth with renewed intention to be a source of illuminated kindness.

Abundant peace,

© Joyce Rupp