The Visitation – Being a Healing Presence

In our spiritual community at First Congregational Church Boulder, UCC some of our members are reading a small book called, The Art of Being a Healing Presence. Those of us reading it, are part of a small group of people who are choosing to heed the call to embody a healing presence with community members who are open to our invitation. Over the months that we’ve been meeting, my heart has increasingly found joy in our time together encouraging each other as we discover the gift of Visitation together. I wrote the following poem to/for them to both express appreciation for their gifting of themselves and to remind them that when we are being present, every moment counts.

The Visitation
It was only for a moment
It was here and it was gone
But when they think of the Visitation
The Presence lingers on

Breaking into Time-space
Eternity in half an hour
When two or more gather here
We’ve invited in the Power

Never underestimate,
What a moment can unfold
A single earthly encounter
A lasting balm for the soul

You were called to bring the Presence.
Being is what you do.
Giving form to the Love,
That preceded me and you

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

Matthew 18:20
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

Take This Life (w/ Lyrics)

(When you shine your Light it isn’t just for you.
It’s for everybody else that’s been watching what you do.)

Take this life
Make it right
Take this life
Make it Light
To see…

You ever had those thoughts that wouldn’t go away?
They’re runnin’ though your mind like every single day.
Wake up in the mornin’
Get on your knees and pray
Don’t believe it works
But you do it anyway
That’s what it’s like when you feelin’ hopeless
Lookin’ at your life and it’s got no focus
You say, “It gets better.”
Swear to God you know this
But you caught up in the mix
Don’t where your flow is
This is the way of the American dream
We think we see clearly
But it isn’t what it seems
Addicted to consumption
So we livin’ like we fiends
Only find meaning
When we get a bunch of things
Sooo…

Take this life
Make it right
Take this life
Make it Light
To see…

You know the Way
That’s what they say
That’s why I pray
To shine like the Day
Sooo…

Take this life
Make it right
Take this life
Make it Light
To see…

Here’s a little something
I’m getting off my chest
It’s been a long time
Since last I confessed
I denied you
Thinking I’d get the rest
But life without you
Is a life that’s a mess

The best of me
Is messin’ with the rest of me
It’s testin’ me
At least until I get to see
I’m blessed to be
Livin’ with you next to me
‘Cause life within you
Is but ecstasy
You see

They say you know the Way
I’m inclined to believe it
Though never in my life
Have I seen one to achieve it
You told us how to do it
I’ll be shocked
If we gon’ heed it
Then we looking all surprised
By the fact that we defeated
Soo…

Take this life
Make it right
Take this life
Make it Light
To see

You know the Way
That’s what they say
That’s why I pray
To shine like the Day
Sooo…

Take this life
Make it right
Take this life
Make it Light
To see…

When you shine your light
It isn’t just for you
It’s for everybody else
That’s been watchin’ what you do
You can talk that talk
But the walk shows what is true
Are you a hypocrite
Or the proud and the few?
That’s the kind of question
I ask myself daily
Trying to get back to my roots
As if my name was Alex Haley
You don’t like my style
But never will you play me
‘Cause I’m gon’ shine my light
Till the day that they take me

You say I know the way
‘Cause if you do, I’m supposed to
I’m glad you chose me
Even when I hadn’t chose you
The world is out of order
And everybody knows it
How’s a nation under you
When all you are, it opposes
If they gon’ be that Pharaoh
Then I’m gon’ be that Moses
They don’t want to see us shine
‘Cause when we do it exposes
So I’m gon’ keep speaking
Til everybody knows this
It’s when we turn to you
That we see where the flow is

You know the Way
That’s what they say
That’s why I pray
To shine like the Day
Sooo…

Take this life
Make it right
Take this life
Make it Light
To see…

Matthew 5:15
No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Spoken Wordless

Words cannot express

What words cannot express

But Silence is compelling me

So I will do my best

Though everything is backwards

There is something coming forth

That is leading us to where we’ve never left

So that we’ll always be on course

It’s fullness is not religious

Truth’s Way will free us from our binds

But first we must deny ourselves

So that our True Selves we might find

That is the Revelation

That so many before us bore

But, we lost our Way living outside in

And always keeping score

The Way Showers wants to free us

But we have to kill them first

Because we refuse to be what we will not see

Thus labeling them a curse

But as soon as we can’t see them

We see them as they are

Exposing what we once denied

That we never were that far

Then suddenly we’re speechless

If only we had known

We’d’ve been deliberate in our reaping

So that our freedom could be down.

© Copyright 2018 Pedro Silva

 

Repairers of the Breach

There is nowhere God is not
Even in what doesn’t last
God gives all things a future
And is not shackled by the past

In our weakness strength is known
And through it we know each other
So through it we are all made One
Each a sister and a brother

So let us see our humanness
Through the eyes of the One who made it
That we might be repairers of the breach
For the world we’ve co-Created

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

If There Was Anything Left Unsaid

Image result for writing on paper

If there was anything left unsaid,
Let the Silence speak for me
For it is filled with more than words
And more than eyes can see

If there is anything you still wonder
Trust that knowledge comes with time
As long as you are open
There’ll be answers you can find

If ever there’s a question
Learn there’s still things we can’t know
But just because they’re not explained
Doesn’t mean that they’re not so

Sometimes we just don’t have the words
For the things we want to say
And some of us are here and now
We’d rather do than stop to pray

© Copyright 2018 Pedro S. Silva II

 

We Are Born In the Moments

quotes324Below is a poem written by my 9 year old daughter, Calista, a sensitive soul and one of my best friends ever. I say that because I can relate to her more than I can relate to most people. I guess it is similar to my relationship with my own mother. Our relationship transcends familial bonds. In a lot of ways I think if we were to relate to one another simply in that way, it would actually place a limitation on our ability to learn and grow together. Of course I respect my mother according to certain societal prescriptions and I ask the same of my daughter for me.

However, from a spiritual perspective, I understand that I cannot limit our ability to teach one another simply because my mother was born before me and I was born before my daughter. After all, we are more than simply these corporeal expressions traveling through time. The greater part of us is eternal–beyond time and therefore each of us has at our disposal access to the infinite wisdom of our Source, our Creator with whom we eternally. From this perspective, as one whose ideal is to live a life that expresses the “On Earth as it is in Heaven” design, I’d be a fool not to see every being as a potential gateway to greater awareness of God’s grace and revelation.

C.S. Lewis said:

“For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity or with the Present–either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.”

I believe that this is the essence of what Calista’s poem conveys and it is to this awareness that I am convicted. Children are very present centered beings. If what Brother Lewis is saying is accurate–and I believe it is–then this aspect of how they encounter the world is precisely why Jesus said that the entrance to the kingdom must be approached as a child.

When seduced by the illusion of temporality, we place a premium on chronological order–the first is the first and the last is the last. In realm of the eternal the first can be the last and the last can be the first, what once was may never be and what has never been can be, and the beginning and the end are One.  I say this to say that the Divine Order is not limited to linearity. Thus is the way of the eternal. And so in this moment out of which I am being reborn, I am hoping to follow my daughter in remembering that I too am from the moments where I am most present.

Where I’m From

by Calista Monterra FitzSilva

I am from my little sister’s sweet little giggles
when I tickle her and her big smiles,
Her brown eyes as brown as a grizzly bear’s fur.
I am from my little sister pulling my hair
And trying to talk and crying over her pacifier

I’m from my mom’s sweet banana bread
Warm out of the oven, the steam rising
The chocolate chips melt into chocolate sauce.
I’m from my grandmother’s magnificent apple pie on Thanksgiving eve.
And the fluffy pancakes she makes when I visit her and my grandpa

I am from the sweet apple cider we sipped
before we skied down the mountain in Boston, Massachusetts
I would fly down the mountain, woosh!
The wind blowing in my face.

I am from the salty air of Aruba
as the ocean splashes up on me and soaks me
I am from early Christmas mornings
when the outside world is cold and damp
I’m from climbing the huge rock in my cousin’s backyard
and finding shiny rocks

I am from these moments.

© Copyright 2017 Pedro Silva and Calista FitzSilva

Into Your Hands

Into Your hands I commit my spirit
Because I won’t endure this lie
This prison system cannot be True
Built on the illusion that we must die

Death’s nothing more or less than a doorway
Or when a movie changes scenes
Different characters embody roles
But there’s just One Dreamer of these dreams

Yet somehow we’ve conceived to deny this
Even though it makes no sense
In the beginning there was always One
And there only has been ever since.

I struggle everyday to express this
To live wholly in Your call
Knowing that I’m denying One
If I can’t see You in All

This is the fruit of religious life
Bonding body and mind to soul
Forsaking the separate self that never was
And abandoning false control

This is when the journey ends
We’ve found the only thing worth finding
And teaching each other is no longer done
We simply trust in Your reminding

This is what I live this Life for
Every other way must be undone
My spirit in the hands of the All in All
Completes what never had begun

© Copyright 2017 Pedro S. Silva II

The Way of All Flesh

There is a path that all flesh must take
We’ve always known this from the start
It’s the very awareness of this fact
That reveals the nature of our heart

For the spirit of immortality
Wrestles with the ways of form
Tempting us with corporeality
As if it were the norm

There are hearts that surrender to this way
As long as we are here
While other hearts struggle with time itself
Certain that eternity is near

The struggling heart will not surrender
It crams eternity into space
Living life with all it has
And in its wake leaves waves of grace

It knows the way that flesh must go
But it and flesh are not the same
And on that day when the two must part
It receives that which is its to gain

© Copyright 2016 Pedro S. Silva II

bruce-2The poem above was written by request for the Rev. Bruce MacKenzie Pastor Emeritus of the church I serve in Boulder, CO. “The way of all flesh” was a saying Bruce loved to say when referring to anything that is temporary in this world. At one visit I had with him before his passing he said to me,  “Soon I will be going the way of all flesh, but you and I know that is nothing to be concerned with. So no tears.” I said to him, “Well we teach that Jesus wept when Lazarus died and he was just about to resurrect him, so I cry when you leave.” He laughed at that and changed the subject.  Bruce’s body might have gone the way of all flesh. But though the outer man is beyond our seeing, the inner man remains eternally abiding.

There’s A World

infinite-crisis-worlds1
There’s a world we all are living in
But not everyone can see
A World of eternal spaciousness
Where everyone is free

Inside that world is another world
Where people choose to live a lie
“Special people”claim to know the Truth
And teach the “forgetting” we can die

Some of those people know the Truth
And twist it tight for so called gain
Telling us that we can’t get along
And that the Other causes pain

Their clarion call is “SAVE YOURSELF”
So that’s what many of us try to do
We can’t see it’s just a cattle call
And all they want to hear is “MOOOO”

They have no purpose if we’re not scared
“Can’t you see that there’s a threat?”
They know that we will sell our souls
Only as long as we’re fearing death

They tell you they’re here to protect us
That’s the job for which they’re paid
In exchange you can focus on other things
But you lose consciousness in the trade

The world of lies that we think is real
Does not objectively exist
Like a picture of a sumptuous meal
On which no one can subsist

Meanwhile in the eternal world
One is the Truth that always reigns
“divided houses” do not exist
And there is no loss or gain

No one’s seeking for the joy in life
For Joy is the Cause of Life itself
And value isn’t used as we use it here
Since everything springs from eternal wealth

There also is never a use for Welcome
Because there’s never a time that we aren’t here
We can tell ourselves that we’ve gone away
But to Truth we’ve never disappeared

Like children with their hands on eyes
Who think they’re unseen when they can’t see
Here we can choose to chain ourselves
But that doesn’t make us less than free

We’re only bound by the limits that we project
Our own judgments become our jail
But our sentence is never for our entire life
Because the Truth always prevails

The Truths Cannot Die

The next time that you kill us
Remember we never really die
Suppressing us won’t free you
Because Truth can’t sustain a lie

I know our presence scares you
We make you feel unsure
Nothing can quite prepare you
For seeing your prejudice impure

You’ve been taught we’re inconvenient
You try to hide us from your view
But locking us up doesn’t keep us out
Since you can’t get away from you

Your history of violence
Towards those who look like me
Has left so many people silent
That we barely know how to be

You say that we are valued
And yet you try to hide the Truth
But there’s no escaping what’s evident
We are the living proof

But where does this knowledge leave us
For too many it ushers shame
The one thing no one wants to feel
Because we can’t escape the pain

See that’s not what we’re seeking
What we want to share is hope
But in our face you see a mirror
And hang the image from a rope

Your guilt too, is not of value
It’s just denial in different dress
Which leads to justification
Which fosters anger and unrest

So what is the solution?
Where do we go from here?
How can we live by a better Way,
When we hold on to our fear?

The answer is we cannot
We have to let love win
Or die in the darkness that we choose
And then do it all again