Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Wondrous Words

In the past few days, I felt out of sorts, as if my life no longer “fit” properly. In my experience, when I feel that discomfort – like a hermit crab that’s outgrown its borrowed shell, or a snake on the verge of molting – it is uncomfortable, constricting, dark and tight.

There was nothing to do but wait for whatever was wanting to come forth. I found myself wistfully remembering the spaciousness in which I usually live, wondering where it went. Waiting. Knowing that I’ve been through this experience before. Being a compassionate witness to my own tight, small predicament, without being overwhelmed by it. Not trying to think my way out of it.

And this morning, a reminder came that opened me to the world again. It was another natural wonder, this time in the form of written words from another person. The words were not addressed specifically to me, but to “readers” in general, yet they flew straight to my heart. Such is the dance we weave with one another, unpredictable, surprising, amazing grace.

Sometimes when other people share their deepest thoughts and feelings, they can lead our hearts to open. When we are warmed by the touch of others, we find ourselves shedding the thick blanket of self-stories in which we have wrapped ourselves. By simply reading the words of another struggling, growing person, my window on the world was thrown open. Heart-strings stretched, the door swung out upon on its hinges; I could step through it. Are there any words that can adequately describe these liminal threshold experiences?

In addition to reminding me that I am not alone, this morning’s communication revealed to me that we are fractals of one another, beautiful patterns within patterns, recognizing ourselves in one another.

The shell, the too-tight skin is left behind. “We are called again and again to come forth from our tombs.” Alleluia! And it’s not even Easter yet.

Comments on: "Wondrous Words" (9)

  1. Rachel Kelly said:

    Awesome, Katharine! Really nice! Love, Rachel


  2. Words can help open hearts and minds.

    As long as we stay open to several voices. Thanks for your voice!

    michael j


    • The more the merrier!
      Philosopher / theologian Henry Nelson Wieman writes of transformation through conversation as “creative interchange;” along with relationship, collaboration, etc., he sees conversation as one source of sacred activity and human good in the world. An interesting guy.


  3. “When we are warmed by the touch of others, we find ourselves shedding the thick blanket of self-stories in which we have wrapped ourselves.”

    I have read and re-read this post quite a few times since receiving it, and each time I am so very taken by the idea and the imagery in the above-pasted sentence! How utterly perfectly put, Katharine! Your words are helping me in exactly the same way someone else’s helped you, and I thank you for that.
    Alleluia, indeed!



    • Why thank you, Jenn! A speaker at one of the IRAS conferences years ago used the term “self-stories” for those limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. A great term.


  4. I read this post a while ago and have been mulling it over for a while, it really has hit hone to me the fact that whatever problem arises, this too shall pass……I actually read this blog: http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/ every day to remind me of what I have in my life, what a blessing it is and that life in whatever form it takes, it truly miraculous……
    …..no need to sweat the small stuff and even if we do, that is all part of life’s rich experience, whatever happens is happening and however we see it, whether we need to have time to rest and reflect or we fight and thrash against it, is what is meant to happen, all part of the master plan…..

    thanks for this,
    Louisa x


  5. Katharine,
    That dark night thing is so hard! Thank you for your honesty in sharing your struggle. I sense a hope in your words though that I think will help to carry you through. “Stay the path” as a friend used to tell me often.
    Peace and Joy,


    • Yes, Chris, Having experienced this before, I consider it a natural part of the process. In addition to requiring patience, it’s about going deeper. Thank you for your comment.


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