Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Really, How Can I Help You?

(Photo by Se'lah Greenaway)

Their sweet voices, their beautiful words, and their message of love resonated deep in my heart. kRi & hettie, the musical duo sensation, gifted me with musical selections of poetry and song.  I’ve played their CD for two days after I first purchased it; it soothed my soul.

Immediately after my first service at Unity Church North, I introduced myself to kRi & hettie, and then I made my way to the lower level of the church to purchase their CD.  I had to have it, and my heart filled with gratitude because I actually had the money to buy one!

I left the table after signing their guest registry, and a woman stopped me to ask how much I paid for the CD.  I responded, “Ten dollars.” She showed me a distorted facial expression.  I read it clearly; she didn’t have the money to buy it.  As I continued walking, I heard the sweet voice within say, “Buy it for her.”  But, I continued walking simply because of fear and doubt.  What will she think when I buy that CD for her?  She doesn’t know me from a can of paint, I thought.

I returned to the main level of the church because I forgot to turn in my guest card with all of my contact information on it.  I felt the Presence of Divine Source.  In response to feeling regret for not buying that CD for the woman, I said, “God, I desire to do what I feel.  I will always act upon what I feel because I know it is the guidance of Divine Source.”

Deep in thought and gratitude, I slowly walked down the steep hill to my car in back of the church when I saw a familiar woman in a blue and white flowery dress exiting from the lower-level door. She greeted me with a smile, and I said, “Are you the one that asked me about the price of the CD?”  She laughed out loud and said, “Yes, I am.”  I walked toward her, and said, “Come on.  Let’s go get that CD.  I’m going to buy it for you.”  She said, “Are you kidding me?”  I said, “Nope.”  I put my left arm around her shoulders as she held my right hand, and we walked back into the church.

Her name is Elizabeth.  She began telling Kri of kRi & hettie that I decided to buy her the CD.  She said, “She’s never seen me before!”  Kri handed Elizabeth the CD; she then told me to keep my money.  “It is a gift to you both,” she said.  All three of us stood amazed about the beauty of giving and the power of love. 

Finally, I reached my car.  I sat in it giving thanks for the opportunity to be of service.  I asked during meditation that morning, “How can I be of service?” I had been guided to Unity North Church that day. I’ve heard often that instead of trying to get something, focus on giving, and all of your needs will be met.  I’m a witness!

Really, how can I help you?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blinded by Love

Like today, the sun’s heat reflected on all the people that stretched out on the lounge chairs, stood in long lines at the water park, and popped in and out of the water like dolphins in the ocean.  My sister, Landy, and I picked the perfect day to take our children and niece to the water park.

One of the children’s favorite activities is the Lazy River, which is water current that pushes you in one direction without any effort on anyone’s part.  I listened to the interruption of laughter as the children dived and splashed under water.  My daughter, who I feel is more comfortable in water than walking, scurried along without any fear.  I, on the other hand, tried not to have fear; let’s just say I felt better being close to her.  She acted as if I were a net holding her back!

I saw a young man grab Landy's arm as I watched her grab my daughter for me.  They continued to move, of course, but Landy seemed to slow down some in the water.  I caught up with her, my nieces, my daughter, and this man holding on to her arm.   I yelled, “I’m coming, hold on!”  As I approached, my sister said, “This is my sister, Vickie.”  And Jannah, my daughter said, “And I’m her kid.”  He said, “Hello.  I’m Trevor.” 

Trevor reached out to hug me in the water, but in his effort, he missed my body totally and slightly pulled away from Landy’s arm, which he scurried to get back.  I looked at my sister with a “what’s-up-with-this” look, and she had this big Kool-Aid smile on her face. I thought he had a crush on her.  I then noticed he had a white-folded stick in the water, one that is used by blind people as a guidance tool when they walk.  Well, it explained why he totally missed hugging me.  The water current had moved me so quickly from the spot where he first heard my voice.  I touched his arm and shoulder in my attempt to hug him in moving water.  I said, “I think it’s cool that you are in here by yourself hanging out.” He said, “Your sister is taking me to the waterfall. I keep missing it because I can’t see where to go.  I said, “OK then.  Let’s go.”

As we moved along in the warm water heated by the sun, I thought this young man could not have chosen a better person to get him to his destination.  Landy is such a nurturing, caring, and beautiful Being.  She guided him in and out of the waterfall area and back to the main part of the Lazy River.

Trevor glowed with gratitude!  Not only is he a brave young man, he is a strong force of love waiting to share with whomever allows it.  It is evident that he is "blinded" by love.  I don’t see his blindness as a handicap; he reminded me on another level to look pass size, shape, race, weight, attitude, smells, and uniqueness in every way.  This young man made sure he touched or hugged everyone who had any affiliation with Landy.  Trevor, nineteen-years-old, left me and my family speechless.  We just smiled at each other.

I saw a bright-red patch across Trevor's back, where the sun had made its mark on his pale skin.  I wondered if the patch would burn him later that day.  He held onto the metal banister, once he released Landy's arm to leave the water, and I moved along in the water, watching him until he disappeared into the bright sun.

Trevor had such a warm and beautiful presence; his gentleness was such a sweet force.  I could feel the love radiating from him.  You know, there is always so much talk about handicaps, race relations, and social inequalities in our society.  For a moment on this day, I could only think about how my family and I had been marked, blinded by love.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Coming Out

I first visited Unity North Church in Marietta, GA about a few months ago for a funeral of a dear friend who I hadn't seen in several years.  The tears in my eyes made everything seemed blurry on that day.  Once my tears dried, I looked at the beautiful cloths hanging from the ceiling over the stage, which were symbols of all the recognized religions.

When I picked up one of the song booklets and flipped through the pages, I recognized several songs by Rickie Byars Beckwith.  Excitement filled my body; it became a matter of time before I returned for my first visit.  Keep in mind, I haven't been in a church building for several years.

I walked in the doors ten minutes late after getting somewhat lost.  Surprised that I had a wide selection of where I could sit, I sat closer to the back of the sanctuary, at first.  Normally, I would have sat there careful not to stand out among the congregation.  No, I moved closer to the front.  Why not?  I wanted to see and feel everything during my first visit of being with like-minded, soul-like, beautiful people!

The light and spaciousness of the sanctuary helped me to feel relaxed, and I looked around at the faces that had once walked in the doors of Unity North for their first time.  Were they, too, ready to come out and just be?  Did they, too, ask how can they be of service?  I sat there feeling love and gratitude because I knew the time had come for me to live out loud.

To my amazement, the message:  “Coming Out – Authen-City vs. False City,” by Rev. Jeanie Ward, hit me like the sun hovering over Mother Earth.  She told her story of how she lived a life of different faces making sure to use them when she needed to cover up that she was gay, unhappy, and terrified of life.  I could identify that same pain in Rev. Ward that had drove me to deep depression.
After years of uncertainty, sickness, and dealing with obesity, she came out.  She said, “I am unique and so is everyone else.”  Rev. Ward’s coming out was not only about her sexuality, it was about living up to her true potentiality—her unique expression of God.  I sat in my chair, closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and said, “Yes” – Yes, to living out loud – Yes, to living my true potentiality. “Where do I start?” I asked.  I heard Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith’s words, “Right where you are.”

Unity North Church seems to be somewhat reserved in terms of movement and dance during service, unlike what I’m use to growing up in a Penecostal church or what I’m used to seeing at Agape Spiritual Center.  So, as I listened, I said out loud, “Yes!” during Rev. Ward’s message several times; my words echoed toward the cathedral ceiling, alone.  When the awesome duo, kRi & hettie, sang, I felt the need to stand, sing, and sway with them. I love their music, their voices, and their message! The words, “Everyday is an opportunity to forgive myself, re-invent myself, and fall in love with myself,” touched my heart.  I am the only one who stood in the entire sanctuary.  Normally, I would feel embarrassed, and I would wonder what people thought or even asked after service, “Do you think it was OK that I stood when no one else stood?”  Not this day; I AM coming out!

The old will leave to make space for the new.  Thoughts and feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, fear, and lack of worthiness had crippled my potentiality. I know I’m evolving each day; like an onion, I continue to peel back layers of deep, negative thought patterns.  I’m ready.  I accept.  I’m available. I can do it.  I will do it, and I give deep thanks.  Use me, Lord.

How about you?  Are you ready to come out about something, anything?  Come on and join me.  Peace and Blessings!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Celebrate Knowing!

(Photo taken by Se'Lah)

I've often heard that we are connected and really never gave much thought to what that meant. I believed it as the truth, and I assumed we were all connected since we are here in this space and time. Yesterday, and this morning during meditation, I've visited this idea as more than a thought; I experienced it.

My husband, Raheem, and I had to take care of some business that could have been perceived as unpleasant, and I must admit, I marched forward after recognizing a negative thought within me about the situation.  Somehow, I just knew that everything was working for our good, regardless of my mind chatter.  So, I took a deep breath, ignored the mind chatter, and focused on knowing that every move I made (walking – talking – smiling – interacting with others – driving – listening) was Divine Source moving as me.  Raheem wasn’t as confident, but I told him, “The Universe has our back!  Let’s do this."

When we walked out of our attorney’s office, Raheem could only say, “All praises be to God!”  I couldn’t say a word; I felt the gratitude, and it covered every aspect of my Being. I blessed everything within my eyesight and heart-sight.  Raheem had to walk prior to getting into the truck; he needed to be and feel the energy and the love first.  We weren’t expected to meet with this particular attorney, the owner.  However; spiritually, he knew we needed his help beyond the physical realm, and he chose to be with us.  I, too, knew to expect my good beyond the physical realm.  Together, the attorney, Raheem, and I danced in Spirit!

Dr. Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith said:

…And we always know it’s transformation because it surprises us – and if it doesn’t surprise you, it’s not transformation. It could be something that you’ve expected and put together in a nice, little, neat package.

But, when you throw yourself open by asking empowering questions and by willing to be more than you’ve ever thought you could be, you get surprised by the depth of what’s inside of you!

It’s so potent that it’s oftentimes shocking.
I didn’t know what to expect at the attorney’s office, but I knew it was Good.  I just didn’t know how Good!

This morning during meditation, I celebrated life, and I danced with those who were willing to dance with me in Spirit.  I felt each and every one of them. I joined in with the celebration of infinite love, peace, and joy.

Celebrate in knowing that everything you are, everything you desire, your purpose, is here and now.  Open and accept in your heart that celebrating Good is you activating your faith.  Know.  Trust. Accept.  Rejoice.  Celebrate simply in just knowing, and accept your joy!  We don’t need to have or see something in order to know and celebrate; we just need to feel all that we are grateful for.  All is well.  Life is Good.