April Newsletter 2004 by Cathy Combs

"April Showers Bring May Flowers"

I have always loved this little rhyme that I learned in childhood. This little rhyme brings thoughts and feelings of cleansing, beauty, and bright promise.What this little rhyme means to me now is that not only does a lovely Spring rain bring much needed water to Mother Earthís many plants and animals, but this blessed rain so often brings a much needed emotional cleansing to our hearts and minds and bodies as well. Rain brings the promise of new life, growth, beauty. Rain softens the Earth so "intake" can happen. Emotional rain softens our hearts too. As always, too much rain brings mold!!! Too much atmospheric change brings tornadoes both in the sky and in our emotional lives. Nature calls us to balance as always!!! Nature also calls us to love and beauty and joy!!!

I heard a call to this love and beauty and joy as I listened to retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong speak to a packed audience in Kansas City last night. I cried as I heard him say that we have confused the definition of God with the experience of God!!! We have made the definition of God so small, Bishop Spong said, the definition is now "both immoral and unbelievable". I couldnít agree more!!!!! If we relegate "God" to some distant, outward, in the sky, judgmental Being, rather than experience "God" as a living Presence that emanates the love of Jesus in our lives then we have truly missed the boat. Again, I couldnít agree more!!! His message serves as an awesomely powerful reminder to me to not let one single moment of "negativity" and pain define the entirety of my life. Even if there have been many moments of profound pain these moments do not define the entirety of my life, any more than they define my experience of "God"!!! In order to make my life a living, loving Presence, as Jesus did, Bishop Spongís message reminds me to love no matter what!!!!!! Thatís how to be the fullness of Life that we are meant to be in this lifetime. Each moment Iím living this Presence better and better. Iím acknowledging this Presence as the very essence of my life too!!!! Itís a gift for all of us!

As that Presence becomes "second nature" to me I can stand softly in the moment and peacefully honor the reality that someone or many someones donít agree with me and truly not be threatened by the difference of opinion. My entire identity is not bound up in a difference of opinion!!! My very life will not disappear if someone disagrees with me! I can stand softly present and realize thereís room for a multiplicity of opinions and thereís more than enough room for everyone!!! I truly know and cherish that this magnanimous Presence of Being holds the essence and experience of world peace! As we "step more fully into our humanity" as Bishop Spong invites us to do I truly know that peace and love and joy will inhabit our lives and transform our lives as surely as the gentle April showers do. We will bring to our lives a love and joy and peace that will unfailingly radiate the essence of Love, Peace, and Joy that we truly are. I am ready to step into the fullness of my humanity so that my life expresses the purity of intention of an April shower bringing forth May flowers!!! Blessings to you!!!


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