March 24, 2012
Rise And Soul
Yesterday I had the fortune of hearing a daughter describe her father after he had passed away. I’ll likely be unable to recount all the roles that she acknowledged he played–father, uncle, friend, husband, employee and all the subparts and roles that came with that–man fixing a car, man sitting in a chair on a boat, man recounting family stories, man volunteering in the community, man encouraging his children to pursue their dreams. One thing was clear: this man was known by many names and held innumerable roles, yet the essence and the truth that touched everyone as this man was nameless. It was heavenly, infinite–God himself.
Sometimes we catch ourselves seeking to define our lives and ourselves, desiring to develop and hold on to some identity in the world. But what if we were an infinite expression and contained the all-ness of an infinitely expressive God, a God known by many names? What sense would it then make for us to hold tightly to any one name or identity, keeping our infinity at bay? One day we may look like a person fixing the plumbing and the next day like a man giving food to his neighbors, or perhaps even a nation. In fact, in the flow of life, it does look very much like this on the outside. But operating in any role we may take is something far greater than what appears, far greater than the role itself.
So let us not limit the infinite outpouring and expression of God, for as we joyously play all the roles that come to us, grasping at no one identity, we rest in the loving essence–the eternal Self with many names. It stands empty, gracious and nameless, ready to lovingly take on another of its infinite roles and forms.