Greetings friends. I hope this blog post finds you well, at peace, and still joyful from the holiday season. Monday night, I attended Christmas Eve services at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s east side. Ten years ago my presence at that church, or any church, would have been highly improbable. On several occasions on this blog and in my other writings, I have alluded to, even discussed a bit, the “dark” stage of my life; my struggles with depression and anxiety, my exasperating inability to find peace and personal fulfillment, and my difficulty coping with losses and emotional pain.
As I walked toward St. Bart’s on that chilly, rainy night, my mind, my soul – my entire being – became swelled with thoughts; thoughts of how my life’s journey has unfolded over my 44 years, where I’ve been, where I am now, and where I might be going. I thought also of the grave plight of my fellow Christians in the Middle East and how the Western world is willfully turning a blind eye to their persecution. I thought of people everywhere; the ambitious, the destitute, the brave, and the misguided. My heart began to ache, and part of me wanted to fall to my knees and kiss the pavement of Park Avenue.
Inside St. Bart’s, a magnificent structure of Byzantine architecture, the pews were filled to capacity with New Yorkers who came to worship. Our voices and the voices of choir members rang out like heavenly bells as we sang “O Come All Ye Faithful”, and the Rev. Buddy Stallings delivered a poignant sermon about hope and eternal light, about being lost and becoming found, and how even though we don’t always seek God, he always seeks us.
I never paid much mind to the notion of being “found” after having been lost, certainly not in the religious Christian sense. But it came to me, gradually, over the past several years. In fact, it snuck up on me and wove its way into my life in the most quiet, discreet way imaginable until I finally became aware of its presence and decided to pay attention. Consider it the slowest, steadiest blindside to ever take place.
Gouache sketch of me by Jonathan, created at Spring Studio:
For those who care to listen for a brief eleven minutes, here is Rev. Buddy Stallings’ Christmas Eve sermon, aptly titled “Forever Light”. And I invite all of you to share in the comments any creation – book excerpt, sermon, poem, article, work of art, piece of music – that holds for you the answers to your spiritual questions, gives you hope, or best reveals your understanding of life’s purpose. I’d be honored to read your contributions.
Abundant blessings to each and every one of you. Let’s meet here one more time before 2012 comes to an end. See you Monday, friends!