Earlier this month, fifteen women gathered at the Cedarbrake retreat center in Belton, Texas. For several days, we sought silence, community and took time to listen for the quiet voice of God. There was stark beauty in the rugged trees without leaves, interspersed with the ever green of cedars. Birds sang and were clearly visible on the branches. The Texas countryside provided cliffs to peer over and bubbling streams to find at the bottom of the canyon.
Many of us brought deep sadness about the state of our country and our world to the weekend. We enjoyed the refuge offered and sought understanding about how to navigate the fights that seem to be always at the forefront of the daily news.
Rather than withdraw from the darkness, we spoke of “holding the space” and offering love. We recognized and drew comfort from this realization that the love we were holding somehow beneficially changes the world around us. We will not be over-run, neither will we meet opposition with more opposition. We will hold the love.
Richard Rohr speaks to this in his book The Universal Christ.
God has worked anonymously since the very beginning—it has always been an inside and secret sort of job.
The Spirit seems to work best underground. When aboveground, humans start fighting about it.
You can call this grace, the indwelling Holy Spirit, or just evolution toward union (which we call “love”). God is not in competition with anybody, but only in deep-time cooperation with everybody who loves (Romans 8:28). Whenever we place one caring foot forward, God uses it, sustains it, and blesses it. Our impulse does not need to wear the name of religion at all.
Love is the energy that sustains the universe, moving us toward a future of resurrection. We do not even need to call it love or God or resurrection for its work to be done.
Eremos continually asks the question, “What is mine to do?” We are called to hold the space for love in our world today. There is power in that. Being together at Cedarbrake, sitting in silence with the community while holding all the pain of the world around us in love, we tapped into this power and are taking it into our daily experience. You can do the same wherever you are. We can all be part of the work of love.