“That I Know Very Well” – Rev. Tony Romaine – 05-09-2021
One night a woman went to bed and was trying to fall asleep. She was having trouble though, as all of her interactions, thoughts, and experiences were being re-lived like her mind was giving her its own version of the nightly news. While lying there, struggling to fall asleep, she was suddenly surrounded by the brightest of lights and seemingly transported to another world. Wondering what was going on she called out for someone to hear her, but no one else was around. And then as she began to become frightened by the emptiness and fear that this was something beyond earthly, a voice came out of the light, “My child, do not be afraid, it is I.” Hearing this, she was frozen in complete awe and fear, her memory searching for something to assign this strange occurrence; to what could she draw upon to find herself in this moment of trepidation. And then the voice spoke again, “My child, do not be afraid, it is I.”
Something different happened after hearing the voice a second time, suddenly a calm and awareness surrounded her, she felt goosebumps all over and an all-encompassing warmth filled her soul. The voice was both one she now recognized and yet still did not know; like a strange, yet familiar kind of comfort. She begged for her voice to find its chord as she struggled to say, “Is that you God?” Nothing happened after she said this, so in only the way we humans think, she thought maybe I should say it louder, so she summoned her strength once more and said it louder, “Is that you God!?”
And in that moment, the realm of light answered, not with voice, but with a wind that blew over her and filled her with such a sense of belonging and purpose she knew the answer to her question. When she gathered herself once more, she felt another question burning inside of her, so she blurted out in complete anticipation, “Is this heaven?!” The Light again did not answer, instead holding her in complete love, as if awaiting the question she really was going to ask. Well now she had all her faculties about her and she began to wonder what this was all about and why God would be speaking to her in the first place.
But before she could even pose the question, a voice came from the Light once more to say, “I have approached you in this way because I need you to do something for me.” Excitedly again, the woman answered before even thinking about her response, “Yes, whatever you ask, I will do it!” Then the voice said to her, “I need you to be a mother to my people, to all my people, so that they will know that I am a God who loves unconditionally; loves all children, loves those no one would ever love, loves those who no one will ever know, loves those who do not love me, and longs for all my children to know how grace-filled and loved they are.”
The woman was almost speechless, but she summoned enough will to ask, “Um, God, how am I supposed to do that? I am only one person, one of many women, one who has not always lived well, one who sometimes gets angry, one who knows love, but not that depth of love.” The Light answered, but this time it was different; the voice had changed to become something incredibly familiar. Now the voice was of her own mother and said to her, “Love others as I have loved you.” The woman began to cry, as memories of her own mother filled her. Immediately she knew she could protect as her mother had protected her, she could teach as her mother had taught her, she could indeed love naturally for her mother naturally loved her.
Then the Light spoke again, this voice she recognized as her friend’s mother saying, “Love others as I have loved you.” This time, she felt a sense of duty come over her and she knew she could love even those who were not her own children. That she could be the love the world needs whether she could ever have children or not. Just as her friend’s mother had loved her at some of the most important times in her life, she felt she could also be a love for those who were in need.
Yet again the Light spoke, “Love others as I have loved you.” This voice was sweet and tender, because this was the voice of her grandma who had been the strength for her during times and through things which she could not herself share with her mom or her friend’s mom. And just as her grandma had been a love for her through times of good and times of difficulty, she then knew that she could be the soft voice, the warm hug, the patient ear to help all those who needed someone to turn to when they felt they could go nowhere else.
Then she heard yet another voice, “Love others as I have loved you.” This voice she did not recognize, and so she asked the Light, “Who are you this time?” The answer was calm and pleasant, “I was the stranger who gave you that hug when you were crying without speaking. I gave it without question and without any need in return. I gave you love for a moment and then was gone.” A memory flashed before her eyes, and she suddenly remembered the time she was in the store after she had just lost her job, and as she tallied the groceries to see if she could afford everything, she broke down and began sobbing. As she stood there crying, a woman approached, who it was she never knew, but she gave her a hug, said “everything will be okay,” and then was gone in an instant.
At this memory of the love of a stranger, perhaps one of the greatest loves we can offer our world, for everyone needs our love whether we know them or not, she knew she too could offer others love, regardless of knowing them or not. And she thought to herself that when we offer that love, without strings attached or love needed in return, well then, we are truly being motherly!
But something was bothering her, a burning question that she did not know quite how to ask, because she knew that some mothers are incapable of love and some people feel they never truly had a “mother.” Unexplainably, a wave of fear came over her, as she thought to herself, “What if I am that mother, the one who harms instead of loves; who hates instead of nurtures; who despises instead of cares for; who does not love as I have been loved?” And in her moment of fear, another voice came from the Light, this time the most familiar of them all, for it was her own voice saying, “You are enough, you are every part of perfect the world needs. You are the love that you have heard in all these voices, you are the love that has been shared with you, for you are God’s light to your world; have no fear.”
Then God’s Eternal Light spoke once more to say, “You see my child, I have given you everything you need, and this you know very well. I created you to know what love is in your heart of hearts, so that when you feel it, it would become so comfortable and amazing you would instantly know it was me. You know of the prophets and the law; you have heard them speak of how you were made wonderfully and made in complete awe in your mother’s womb. That is because you were created by me with my God spark inside of you for this very purpose. For I am the Great Mother and have loved you into being. So, everything you will ever need, I have given to you, and this you know very well!”
“Will you make mistakes; sure. Will you not always love perfectly; absolutely. But you have heard my Son Jesus share the message with you of forgiveness through the cross, of love beyond love, and grace beyond grace. You know of His conception by the Virgin Mary, who too struggled with the very same questions you ponder now. But just as she answered in deep faith, I covenant with you and trust that your faith will guide you, a faith you know very well.”
“You must follow my commandments and believe in what my Son has shared with you. Trust in what you have heard about all of the loves I long for you to show my world as a mother, and I say ‘mother’ for woman is too specific. See, I am calling you and everyone to be a mother in all the ways you have experienced tonight. For while Jesus speaks of me only as the Father, I am also the Mother for I have conceived the whole world and created all you know and see. Everything you can touch and feel, and everything you can imagine, or have yet to imagine…And this you also know very well!”
As she heard these words, she fell to her knees and began to cry. From behind her tears, she asked God, “How can this be? It is too much. I cannot be a mother to the whole world. I cannot even mother my own world sometimes!” Suddenly, as if lifted into the arms of all the voices which spoke to her that night, she was embraced by the Spirit and felt a love that words cannot do justice. Then the voice, now speaking softly, so softly it felt as if it were coming from inside of her, said,
“My child, be who you are, where you are, for you are more than enough. Share that wisdom I hear in your prayers, that patience I see in your days, that hope you give your family and friends, the compassion you share with strangers, the love you find with me in all times, and you will indeed change the world. And if you ever need me, if ever things become too difficult or you need to be strengthened anew; turn to the one thing I hope you know most of all…my love for you!”
And just as quickly as she had been swept away, she was now back in her bed. She closed her eyes, longing to be in that place of peace and comfort again, begging herself and God to be conversing together again. But as hard as she tried, she could not make it happen, and as she lay there remembering all she had just experienced, she lifted a prayer from the depths of her heart whispering, “God of my days and nights, of my wakefulness and of my dreams, thank you for loving me, so that I can love…and for all the things that I know very well, Amen!”
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.