As the Holy One says, “Offer me an opening no bigger than the eye of a needle, and I will widen it into openings through which wagons and carriages can pass.” Song of Songs 5:3
The morning is quiet and a heavy pall of clouds hangs over us although the day is forecasted to clear. We are, so says our favorite weatherman, to have several days of sunshine. A welcome change from all our rain. But at the moment, it’s quiet, no sirens, no birdsong, just a stillness as if the day is working to birth itself.
I feel the same stillness in me, am loath to begin the many tasks that I have ahead of me. Want to simply sit in this corner of my world and be in a place of waiting as the day waits. And so, I picked up a book from the top of a stack of books I have here at my side and read. This particular book is God is a Verb by Rabbi David A. Cooper.
I picked it up because I want to NOT feel irritated today. There’s no reason for that feeling, I just felt a stubbornness in my body, a reluctance to address any other part of my life. And the section I opened to and read is titled “The Messianic Ideal.”
Isaac Luria, an influential Kabbalist who lived in the sixteenth century, taught that “the messiah comes through the continuous preparation of humans who constantly raise holy sparks until the world ultimately attains a higher consciousness.” I guess that’s what I’m reaching for today – a higher consciousness in the way I react to the day – and the continual clouds even after sunshine is predicted.
Rabbi Cooper then suggests to “imagine what would happen if the messiah were to come into the room.” And my body took a deep breath. Ah, now there’s a thought. How would the presence of loving kindness affect my body and my mind?
In these days, maybe in many days and times, we seem to be reaching for a future instead of being in the present. Waiting for peace rather than being in peace. What are we waiting for?
One of the many gifts of writing each morning, whether journaling or blogging, is that I’m brought back into the present moment. Words appear and with the words, a new understanding. And the reminder that I don’t have to wait, I can simply be. To be: the ontological present. Rather than shutting myself off to what is now by expecting a future, I can give myself the present of presence, and by opening myself just this bit, just this sliver the size of a needle, I’m able to laugh at myself – well, not out loud, but I am grinning. And if I’ve not yet gained the space for a carriage, perhaps a little red wagon would fit.
I’d like to have a wise and useful meditation for you this morning, but all I can give is the image of the eye of a needle. Find yours. See what comes through. Maybe only one hair – then two. And who knows, before the morning is over, you might even find your own red wagon – or maybe a tricycle.