Shuck and Jive

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Inner Light

I am making one final plug for the Dr. Patricia Williams workshop and worship this weekend. This is an excerpt from her spiritual autobiography, Hazardous Engagement: God Makes a Friend. You can get it online but you will need to register and be on the Quaker Universalist Fellowship e-mail list which will allow you to access all the writings. You can of course unsubscribe, but why?

Her autobiography takes place over several years. She includes journal entries of reflections upon prayer and other things. This is near the end:

Because Jesus was male, and we customarily don't think of persons as neuter, I usually think of you — indeed, experience you — as male. But during this same prayer time, in a very intimate moment, you switched to female. What a shock! And yes, I have always known intellectually that you are neither male nor female, and yes, the change has occurred before, but not during such an intimate encounter. The replacement at that vulnerable moment highlighted my fear, which is so far from love.

Yesterday in prayer I felt a love for myself I've never felt before. It wasn't self-centered and egocentric, but a real caring-for. It was good.

This morning was two hours of ecstasy and darkness, two hours of fulfillment. You do not reject us; instead you fulfill our nature.

You came to me as you have come so often, and I gave myself to you as I have given myself so often, in great pain, great joy. As sometimes before, your presence spread throughout my whole body. But for the first time, you turned to face the way I was facing, sat where I was sitting, and united yourself to me. Then, with a smile, you became female. It was okay. It was wonderful. I repeated "I give myself to you completely," and you echoed the sentence back. You, the soul of eucharist, the source of love, the inner light.

Dr. Williams is going to be leading a workshop on science and theology Saturday, lead the adult forum on Sunday at 9:45 and lead worship at 11:00. Check here for details. Hope to see you if you are in the neighborhood, and if not, you will be inspired and enlightened by reading her works.

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