Midweek Faith Lift
August 5, 2020
“I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life”- Station 11
Rev. Deb Hill-Davis
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life is Station 11 of the 16 Stations of the Cosmic Christ. The image that was created for this Station is that of a heart shaped head with an opening at the top. It is an ancient image, one that has been used in petroglyphs across the Pacific and toward Asia going back 40,000 years! It is a powerful expression of the human experience to lead with the heart when people who created these images were not really aware that they had hearts! Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect on that….humans were not aware of the heart as an internal organ and yet that shape found expression in how the human head was portrayed in primitive art. That says a lot about the power and the energy of the heart to find its way to express in human life.
As we contemplate this statement, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” as an archetype of the Cosmic Christ, we are tapping into an eternal energy field that has always existed and continues to exist today; the energy of the heart, of love. This is truly a universal energy that all the Wisdom teachers, all the spiritual practices of the world’s religions offer us, as humans all around the globe. It is no real mystery that the first followers of Jesus after he was no longer an embodied being called themselves “Followers of the Way.” We in Unity also can embrace that language because we view Jesus as our “Way Shower” who is our elder brother or spiritual mentor, showing us the way in what he said and taught and how he lived and all that he did.
The integrity of what Jesus said matching fully how he lived was truly the power of the Way, an expression of this Universal Archetype of the heart. It is the energy and integrity of the heart that always opens the way. When I worked at Silent Unity in the Telephone Prayer Ministry, many callers knew nothing about Unity or Unity teachings. The calls were full of anxious human cries with impossible situations and horrible circumstances. People called when they had truly reached the end of their rope and wanted prayers for miracles to make things change and be different. They wanted God to step in and fix this mess!
As prayer workers, we were taught not to get caught up in the details of the story because in essence, each story was the same. People had tried to figure out solutions, control circumstances and other people and it was a disaster, a hot mess with no way out. And they wanted a way out! They called Silent Unity thinking we had some magical solution in prayer. HA! Well we did, but here’s the deal, the final line went something like this: “Now, dear one, we chose to trust, giving all these circumstances to God, knowing that when there seems to be no way, God always opens a way. We pray knowing that the power of love always opens a way.” And then, we’d say amen and the caller would go back to the story and we would just repeat the phrase, “Dear one, we chose to trust…..knowing that when there seems to be no way, Love always opens a Way.” That seems relevant to our lives right now, too!
In Silent Unity, we were calling on this Archetypal energy of the Cosmic Christ without consciously knowing it. We have been hearing and reading so much about the civil rights leader and spiritual giant, Congressman John R. Lewis in recent days, since his passing. One of the themes of his life that reflected the true power of his consciousness was that he repeatedly made the statement that he was marching and “making good trouble” for what was already true, we just had to see it. All human beings have dignity and worth and he was just working to make what was true visible and real for everyone. What a powerful metaphysical principle to live! He surely was following the Way of Jesus!
It is for that reason, his being so spiritually grounded in being the way, the truth and the light that he could say:
Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. --John Lewis
He understood that none of what happened to him was personal; it was part of a Cosmic struggle that was asking the Power of Love to triumph over everything that was not love. He was also wise to also renounce hatred because he said, along with his mentor and friend, Dr. King, “Hate is too great a burden to bear.” It was much, much later that one of the Alabama troopers who had beaten him on Bloody Sunday in 1965 came to see him to make amends. Lewis immediately forgave the man, and then they both cried. Holy water, healing tears of holy water.
John Lewis on Love & the Seedbed of Personal Strength
--by Maria Popova, syndicated from brainpickings.org, Jul 21, 2020 had the following to say about John Lewis:
If Lewis’s legacy is to be summed up in a succinct way, if his immense and enduring gift to the generations is to be bowed with a single ribbon, it would be these passages from his 2012 memoir Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change (public library):
Our actions entrench the power of the light on this planet. Every positive thought we pass between us makes room for more light. And if we do more than think, then our actions clear the path for even more light. That is why forgiveness and compassion must become more important principles in public life.
A century after Tolstoy wrote to Gandhi that “love is the only way to rescue humanity from all ills” in their extraordinary forgotten correspondence about why we hurt each other and how to stop, Lewis writes:
Anchor the eternity of love in your own soul and embed this planet with goodness. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.
People have described John Lewis as a living saint, but he would have none of it. He was just living according to his heart, his consciousness. He was following Jesus, as the Way, the Truth and the Light. Jesus tells us this in the Scriptures from John:
Jesus the Way to the Father
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
This passage is frequently used in funerals and memorial services as if we do not find a place for our hearts to dwell until after we are no longer embodied. I don’t believe that this is the true meaning of this passage at all. I do believe with all my heart that we are charged herein to find a way to dwell in the house of the Lord, in the Consciousness of the Cosmic Christ of Love, Light, and Wisdom right here and now, in 2020, in this pandemic and in these challenging times. We may not be able to march or to endure beatings like John Lewis, but we can forgive, we can love in the face of unrelenting hate and venom. We can dwell in that consciousness of the Christ each and every day as our brother John Lewis, our brother Jesus, our sister Mother Teresa, our sister Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani woman who advocated for the education of girls and women in the face of abuse and terror.
We are that Cosmic Christ and all those who have shown us, unconditional love, graciousness, mercy, and forgiveness help us grow into the reality that was and is always there. We are the Way, the Truth and the Light.
Blessings on the Path,
~By Lowell Fillmore
When for a purposeI had prayed
and prayed and prayed
Until my words seemed worn and bare
With arduous use,
And I had knocked and asked
And knocked and asked again,
And all my fervor and persistence
brought no hope,
I paused to give my weary brain a rest
And ceased my anxious human cry.
In that still moment,
After self had tried and failed,
There came a glorious vision of
And, lo, my prayer was answered
In that hour.