June 16, 2018
The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
A simple definition if the word “to seek” may be: an attempt to find. But reading into more definitions, they begin to emphasize an “engaged longing” to find. Going yet a step further, I found that in seeking God, it is a longing to be in his presence. That we are to seek to find his “face”. I thought to myself, “there are as many different versions of seeking, and seeing, her “face” as there are beings that have ever lived, are living now and those that will come into this world. It is also important to point out that the message is to continually, constantly seek to he in her presence.
Today I would like to share with you how the divine light has guided me to search and seek out the face of God. How my parents’ infinite love and the guidance of my elders lead me to live among the Nicaraguan people. My journey is one of seeking to find God’s by seeing life through their eyes, and being in relationship with them.
God’s face is omnipresent as it is pointed out in Psalms v 147:3-5,
He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power, His understanding has no limit.
(Pause to reflect this limitless understanding)
When I was young my mother told me that she loved me as much as all the stars in the sky. She would liken her love to the uncountable leaves on all the trees. To convince me even further, she would ask me if I could count the grains of sand on all the beaches in all the world as an example of how strong and vast was her love for me.
She was introducing me to the infinite majesty of creation! Moreover, her allusions to the infinite offered me the experience of turning an abstract feeling into something I could see, touch and hear. The infinite became a tangible and natural human face. As you can imagine, now it is my turn as a mother to share such loving and intimate moments with my daughter who now reminds me that she and I love each other as much as all the stars in sky.
My mother and father opened my mind to search for the infinite face of God in human relationships, in their appreciation of nature and through their relentless push to demand that the truth be told, that truth be known despite obstacle and despite the unpopularity of their views. I remember my father looked me deeply in the eyes, raised his finger towards the sky and said, “no matter what happens, never lie!”
In 1990, my parents drove our family down to Nicaragua, unveiling a completely different reality from what I had known. Through that experience I learned that people with so little knew how to live life in generosity, and appreciate every blessing they received. I returned to the US a year later fully blessed by the experience and also cursed. My time there had turned my perception of wealth where now the poor seemed to be more wealthy that the well-off people I knew in my home land. I longed to be back in Nicaragua where I felt true wealth was experienced. The seeds were planted for where I was to end up and where I could feel fully appreciated.
For me, the “face” of God has revealed itself most strongly in through the Nicaraguan people. Their consistent and humble way of welcoming me, and anyone, as a friend, neighbor, a student, a teacher, still surprises me. Through her blessing I became a wife and a mother there. Most importantly, I have softened and become a more decent human being. One day I was saying goodbye to a student that I had coached, now being reintegrated with his family and as I hugged him, my mind turned to death. I had lead a leadership course that was ending and the theme of the last day was death, naturally I was reflecting on my own death and asked: “Was I living the life I wanted? Was I ready to die?” As I drove home, all of the faces from strangers on the street looked straight at me, smiling and making eye contact. A voice seemed to echo out from them saying, “thank you for spending your time here with us, you are loved.”
I followed my heart to Nicaragua, trusting a deep instinct that this was the path for me. With God’s lead, we walk in the space of infinite love where infinite possibilities are manifested and we can confront fear with much more humor. This kind of searching and following is how we can be in the presence of God and see her “face”.
I work as an educator and a massage therapist in Nicaragua. I am the community through various healing modalities and through a new project called Power Brain Nicaragua. Power Brain is a collection of empowerment tools for improving our physical, emotional and cognitive health. In the last year it has been shared with a variety of NGOs, public and private schools and for the public in workshops and classes. The single most important goal in of the Power Brain method is to introduce people to their infinite potential.
If we recognize and accept that the amount of neurons in our brain is around 100 million and that each one of those neurons has the potential to connect to 50,000 other synapses leading to trillions of potential connections, how can we ever feel stuck or at a loss for solutions?
I share a video recently produced about Power Brain activities happening in Nicaragua:
Insert: Power Brian Education youtube (1).mp4
However, we do get stuck. We are so afraid of failure that we close ourselves into fixed patterns and ideas. This can help us feel safe but often undermining our chance to find lasting contentment, happiness and the authentic genuine human connectedness. Fear of loosing control blocks us almost completely from residing in God’s presence, meeting her face to face.
The situation in Nicaragua has been devastating and I believe that an example of this kind of paralyzed fear and lack of creativity and faith-based seeking is playing out in our current political leadership there. Our “leaders” are unable to imagine a world without themselves as the central players. They are genuinely internally paralyzed by fear yet reacting aggressively, obsessed with maintaining power.
If I believed Power Brain had a place in our Nicaraguan society before all the turmoil began there, I see how much more it is needed in our current state of affairs. We have to create new possibilities to both transform the circumstances around us but also to seek the infinite Creator within. We always have a choice to move closer to or further away from the face of God in many hundreds of moments every day. If we are seeking her face and to be in her presence, then we are indirectly showing that we see and trust in her presence residing in us too.
By taking the example of only being able to recognize the thorn in another’s eye because we have one in our own, the same metaphor can be used for the divine light that resides with in us: How can we seek the divine light, or know it is there, unless we see and accept it to be equally present in our own being? Her presence is our essence, it is our destiny for God’s face and our face to unify completely. Through our good acts, through following her lead we meet, we are pulled into community and into her grace both throughout our lives and in our dying.
Offered at Seeker’s Church, Takoma Park, MD
By Rebecca Wheaton
Sunday, June 17th 2018