In the Midst of the Crowd

Our human impulse to withdraw or conform is due to our fear of being singled out and confronted due to our uniqueness. I tend to withdraw, it is my way, as I do not want to conform. Serenity comes in the midst of the storm and in facing the crowd. As I know that my real calling and my true peace comes in being me, from my deep inner well to my outer shell, to be me in the face of the crowd. I am reminded of Emerson:

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

And yet, the great man is not self-made, nor great as the world sees it. The strength of character and resolve to live at peace comes from deep within. There is the root of God in me, also in you. As Paul wrote in his Letter to the Romans, Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root… Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you (11:16-18). We are fed, each of us, by this root of God. As the roots of the oak tree pull the water and mineral nutrients up and out of the earth throughout the tree, from the base to each growing tip, that God-planted root lifts out of the ground of creativity and being, the very nourishment for each growing point in my life.

I will recognize this and celebrate it today. I will not take for granted the goodness of life as it is. I will not long for life as it could be because I cannot imagine it being any better than it is. What could be better is my own attitude and willingness to be more responsive, more tolerant, more patient, more caring, more loving. and more fearless in each moment of my life.

My prayer to God this day is this. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see, that I may glimpse your wonder and hear your beauty in the light and shadows, and in the rushing water, and breeze through the branches. Help me to see and hear the story of our lives together on this day and every day. Help me to imagine love as the power it actually is, not as an ideal, but as the reality that forms and shapes and calls and protects and challenges me and all of us for all time and for all purposes. Help me, Oh God, to know your love, your voice, your touch, your desire for me to be me for you in this time and space, and for me to be you in this time and space for me and you and the other.

And always, there is the other, out there, different, and yet alike, afraid and with wonder too. Trying to scratch out a life for himself as well, in the midst of the hardship and pain that this life brings, along with the joy and satisfaction. Let me be for the other, as well.

If we are brave enough and humble enough and open enough to receive it all; your kingdom come, here, now. And forever

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