One day you will know that the emptiness is your friend

Looking at me in the gentlest manner, the hermit said, "You are afraid, aren't you? You don't need to be afraid." His power lay in that he had no power. He merely looked deeply into my soul.

A tension broke within me, and much to my horror I began to weep. The tears quietly drained the hurt and terror from me and replaced it with peace.

"We are all deaf. The way of emptiness teaches us to hear...One day you will know that the emptiness is your friend."

Now dance

We laugh together like we never have before. Her face radiates pure joy. She's a good little dancer, music in her blood...maybe a word from God. She's so happy and strong , despite her world crumbling around her, that I can only gaze in awe. She leaps into the air, giving shape to the music that reposes in all matter, just waiting to be released. She liberates the music and, in her innocence, cannot know what she has done and thereby is all the stronger. Is God speaking to this tired old heart? Is God saying, "Look — don't you get it? She's as marvelous as a galaxy. You have nothing to fear. If I can call her into being, there's nothing I can't do. Now dance. Dance!"

Faith is the great teacher and molder of hearts

We live by faith, and if from time to time the veil is parted briefly, it is to encourage us for a specific task or to sustain us through a period we couldn't otherwise endure. But it is faith that we stand most in need of. Why did I let faith die? Faith is the great teacher and molder of hearts, the temperer of souls, as gold is tested in fire. When our other strengths fail, there at the base of our empty souls is a mysterious silent wealth. There at the bottom of the barrel is the real strength, not power or resources, not worldly wisdom or a solid defense system, but rather the will to continue to love and to live in faith by the truth.

I walked through the birches by the river today

I walked through the birches by the river today. Overwhelming! The earth is stripped down to simple designs. The land has become a visual haiku. Sun on the fretwork of twigs. Blood droplets of rose hips clinging to the bushes. The chatter of the creek against trimmings of ice. The skiff of snow. My breath a white cloud like a departing soul... I have always been beguiled by birds. As if there was much they would tell me if they could, but they are only permitted to bear witness with their lives, their song.