Amidst the noise and chaos of this world, the sounds of the heartstrings are not always heard.
I have been challenged this week to listen within to the Voice of Wisdom. This morning, at Quaker meeting, I was contemplating the verse Acts 17:28, “In God we live, move, and exist.” When I sat in the silence, thinking of our interconnectedness, I clearly heard the voice of inner guidance telling me God is always near. I could slow down. I did not need to fear, or plan, all I needed to do was trust this inner voice.
We are all born with divine gifts that we are meant to share. One of our greatest gifts is wisdom: the ability to discern the path to inner peace. These gifts can be obscured by moments when we are too afraid to listen, when the voice of the world becomes overpowering. We need the Light to guide us through these challenging moments.
Take this afternoon, for instance, when I was sitting in the middle of a cafeteria filled with stressed students and I felt my head start to ache. This week especially, the atmosphere of stress has mounted and my own overtired state made me feel more sick than I have felt in months. My inner wisdom to take care of my body was overshadowed by my distracted, worried thoughts.
These thoughts often stem from hidden insecurities. I feel unsure if I am doing the right thing when I choose how to spend my time and where to focus my energy, for instance. I am too afraid that my poetry is not good enough to share, so I refrain from writing it. Our fear of our true worth, the gifts God has given us, keeps us in the shadows.
But we do not need to conquer our fears to live from the true Light within. We just need to trust that both our fears and our gifts are part of our humanity. We can trust Christ when he tells us, “You are the Light of the world” (Matt 5:14), though he clearly knew we were fallible. We need voices of loving encouragement that inspire us to share our gifts with others. As the poet Hafiz writes,
Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being.
We all remain
As I look forward to the next ten days before I go home, I know there will be abundant opportunities to share gifts with others – listening to their concerns, giving hugs, sharing Christmas presents. I will also be faced with my fears of the abundant work to do. Living in a dance between the Light of love and the shadows of fear makes us beautifully human.
In this season of giving and receiving, I hope that you may let your Light shine. Your courage to live from the heart will touch those around you, and show them the path to peace. Sometimes, we need to hear the heartstrings of another before we hear our own.
One last poem, it is one of my favorites:
when two violins are placed in a room
if a chord on one violin is struck
the other violin will sound the note
if this is your definition of hope
this is for you
the ones who know how powerful we are
who know we can sound the music in the people around us
simply by playing our own strings
for the ones who sing life into broken wings…
this is for you
This is for you, each one of you, who give me encouragement daily. Thank you.