Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Fulcrum of the Search Unknown

A fellow student in my clinical pastoral training class wrote a poem about the instructor and each of the students and presented them to us at our last class.  I won't reveal her name, but I will treasure what she wrote about me forever, because I think she was able to see each one of us at a precise moment of our lifetimes, capturing that image like a photograph with her words:

The Gift of Michelle; A Legacy of Love

 Somber strides through the dark mist
Spirited spiraling pirouettes in the pristine meadow

But not getting any nearer
The heart of the search unknown

Living life, growing children, enveloping love
Turning corners
Searching, unknown
Shedding what was, moving beyond
Wounds healed, scars remain
Hurt, anger, forgiveness
Can one forgive all?
Acceptance, moving on
Not getting any nearer
The heart of the search unknown

Moving towards destination unknown
The answer is clear; somewhere

You are not solely the book you write, things you do, titles you wear
You are here to share the God part of yourself & all that is you
The light reflected in your warm smile, thoughtful eyes, kind words
This is the fulcrum of the search unknown

I told her I will write a poem for her as well, and I look forward to having the time to sit down and meditate on her unique energy, her incisive wisdom and her serene presence.  Just today someone else described me as a "seeker."  That label makes sense given the nature of my multi-faith spiritual path.  However, my seeking does not come from a place of wanting or lacking in the experience of the Divine. In many ways I feel like the heart of my search has always been known to me.  My faith in the Divine has always been there, and if anything I strive to expand it as much as I can.  People say things like, "your God," or "our God," or "however you like to refer to the Divine," but I simply see the Divine as an all-powerful eternal Presence we cannot name or capture or understand from our limited perspectives.  By studying the awe inspiring multiplicity of the world's faith traditions and spiritual practices, I find more and more ways to connect to the Divine and to humanity. The Divine is expressed through the expansive Universe, through Earth, through wildlife, through plant life, and most importantly for us, through humanity.  We are the reflection of the Divine, inextricably connected to one another and to all of Creation.  A Christian pastor commented to me when I began my interfaith studies, "I commend people who are searching, but personally, I am no longer searching.  I found what I was seeking."  I responded, "I am never going to stop searching."  This does not mean there is no peace for me.  This means I am at peace with mystery, and I believe the "unknown" is in fact "unknowable" from a limited cultural vantage point; I agree with my poetess colleague that love is the fulcrum of the search unknown. 

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