I love it when I get feedback concerning posts on this blog or some of my other writings, such as the free pamphlets readers can download from my site. Read what one correspondent says about my most current pamphlet: Twelve Powerful Words Needed for Spiritual Fulfillment (available for download at www.parisecoaching.com.) Ann has been a colleague and friend for over 35 years, working as in evangelization in Italy. Her words mean a lot to me an give me added courage to press on in seeking the radical foundation of human love, life, and faith. Here’s what she wrote:
Thank you for sending me your story. I read it almost as soon as you sent it and decided to write a note to thank you and give you some of my impressions. Yes, first of all thank you. Whenever a fellow human being takes the time and musters up the courage to be as open with himself and with others as you have been in this project, I think it deserves grateful attention.
I read it all and one of the first things I appreciated was the strong desire to be sincere, coherent and at all costs let truth reign free. I also perceive and appreciate the great pain you have been through. At the same time a phrase I recently heard in The Butterfly Circus (see You Tube) came to mind. It went something like: The greater the struggle, the more glorious the victory. That is another impression I have from reading your story along with your experience with the 12 words. You yielding and the steps you have taken have given you tastes of victory and a new sense of inner freedom. I gather that you feel that you are at a good point, out of the cage, but now, maybe you would like a little more closure.
From my perspective as a follower of Jesus and a weak creature who has experienced his living word made flesh in me and over and over again in many others, I am thinking that for you there might not be such a long road ahead like the one you have traveled to get to this point. It is true that everything is a gift in God’s economy. But that is just the point. That is what keeps coming to my mind after having read your story. When you breathe out, you must breathe in to keep alive. When the heart pumps out its diastolic beats it must pump in the systolic ones to keep the body alive.
Once the gift of certainty – that personal and radical certainty of God’s love in Jesus for each person he ever created blossoms in the heart, I think that the process is complete. You may already be there. I really don’t know, but what keeps coming to mind in the language I am used to is described in the apostle Paul’s account of his passing from the deepest depths to the highest heights. You are probably more aware of the details than I am when he describes his situation in chapter 7 of Romans that goes from an utterly helpless state (his breathing out) to a change of focus(his breathing in), in chapter 8, as he recognizes the enormity of the gift he has received in Christ.
That is what my prayer is for you, the same as it is for so many of us who are tempted to dwell on our own plight rather than to let go of obsessive thoughts about our primitive selves in order to lose ourselves in the realities of who we really are in Christ. Sorry if this comes across preachy to you, but for me it is too big and beautiful a reality to let go until later. Yes, I’m learning and relearning this too, but it is a wonderful journey when you keep coming back to this position of peace and supernatural power and feeling of completeness.
The other thing I have to say is that I really appreciated your art. More than ever, placed in this context, it stimulates new ways of seeing things and for me, speaks of the unseen beauty and hope in the things you share.
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