My morning dance routine has been lost, like so many other rituals these past months. When it does spontaneously return, my heart is joy-filled and a smile breaks out on my face as I find my body moving to the music without awareness. The song has called forth my spirit and my mind registers that I am free from whatever has bound me. I am free to dance.
I never know what song will do it. This morning it was Safe in My Father’s Arms by Sanctus Real. Tonight I went into my kitchen and turned on the radio for a few moments while I made myself a cup of tea. My hips started to swing, my shoulders swayed, my eyes closed, and my feet twirled. A smile burst forth. The song was on again. My spirit responded. I was transported. Hallelujah! As it came to an end, I wondered what I needed to hear from the message within this song.
Perhaps the obvious message is that I am safe in my Beloved’s arms. I do find a dwelling place there that compares to none. As St. Catherine of Labouré says: The protection of God is always there. Those loving arms hold me tightly. I am a child of the King and the hallelujahs spill from me when I feel those precious arms uplifting me. The Creator’s open arms await me when I need to run to the embrace that knows my needs before I even arrive.
I have been shuffling through stuff that can weigh me down–more letting go, feeling emotionally overwhelmed, acknowledging more readily that my time may be running out more quickly than I want it to, and so much more. I am struggling with BIG questions about who I am, how I want to live out my final days, what my boundaries are, and have I done what I was created for. All my life, I have been a feeler and yet I tend to analyze everything. Some would say I over-analyze some things. I won’t argue with that statement.
I have also been reading a book this summer that was a gift by one of the members of the Ignatian Lay Volunteer group I belong to called Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. The read has been a bit of a slog for me. More recently some of the chapters have caught my attention. Today’s chapter talked about murdering the truth. I recently had a conversation with someone at our church picnic that was about how people who want to be politically correct sometimes prefer not to stand up for the Truth any more. That was basically what the chapter was saying in a different way–but it asked some pointed questions, one of which caught me: where are you allowing lies to take root in your heart? I sat there for a moment and several examples came to mind with the author’s challenge of giving Truth a place of honour in our lives, relentlessly poking me.
When we do not give Truth the place of honour in our lives, we are running from the Divine arms that long to hold us. When we cannot acknowledge that we are being sinful, the lies win. They hold us back from being safe in God’s great arms. I keep telling myself that I must remain open to God’s plan for me and yet I some days do not listen. After my kitchen dance, I sat down and made a to-do list. One of the items on it was that I would finally set up a prayer space in my bedroom. After almost 11 months of living here, I had not created one. I wanted it elsewhere but today I was determined to not go another day without my sacred space. I have mostly used my balcony as that place but as the weather changes, I knew I must get serious about doing this small act of obedience. In order to know the Truth, you must spend time in the arms of the One who is the Way.
We lie to ourselves and others in so many ways–about our unworthiness, our well-kept secrets, our infidelities, our dark sides. We do not even know what our own truth is anymore. We do not recognize the Truth either. We stop singing Hallelujahs. We no longer know how to be vulnerable or safe. We forget Whose child we are. The lies get into our heads and destroy pieces of us, bit by bit, slowly and surely. We do not want to be held accountable until something shifts, as if by a miracle. Hope calls us back because we are Loved. We were always made to be children of the Light. Speak your truth. Stand in the Truth. Even if you cannot always stay rooted there, believe that you are safe when you choose to stand under the standard of the King. The Truth will prevail and lies will be exposed so it is best to remain whenever possible in the Light.
At my birthday party last year, a Jesuit friend gave a talk that began with the question have you ever noticed how long Suzanne’s arms are? He then went on to explain why that was, how I had opened my heart and arms to those around me until they were much longer than they had been. This beautiful image has stayed with me, because I know that God’s arms are even longer and more accepting than mine. I can only open mine because the Holy One has shown me how. One Truth I do know is Whose I am–a child of my Beloved who waits for me with open arms. May I always choose to run back to that safety when I stray.
How do you feel in the arms of God?
What lies are making your life unruly right now?
Safe-Space, thank you for embracing us when we need to know Whose we are. You are ever-faithful even when we cannot tell you the truth of our lives. You know the fears, anger, lies, and infidelities within our hearts before we even offer them to you. May we run into those wide arms and find hope and strength to stand in the Light of your Truth. Hallelujah, we are safe in your arms. We are children of the King. Hallelujah! Amen.