But did you know there is a power that never wins an election, has no need to inherit or to achieve great influence or prestige? One could say it is the ultimate power: indeed, that it is the Only-Power, for all things and all life come from it, and all things, all people have been designed and made by it. And, as this power has nothing to prove, or gain, or to lose, it is by nature Humble, and Unpretentious.
Indeed, this power never shames or blames anyone.
This simple and unaffected power does not pose to get our at-tention. It never conforms to our very human, very narrow ex-pectations: To our either-or, black-and-white, good-or-bad, win-or-lose way of looking at reality, of delaying our lives until ‘later’—whenever that is.
It challenges us not because it must win, but by being the Power-Which-Has-No-Need-To-Conquer-Anyone-or-Anything, no need to keep itself from losing our approval, no need to force itself to have its way, or to prevent us from having ours.
This power, from the first moment of our inception, has been in us, resting in the deepest, calmest, truest part of us, yet we have been too angry, too afraid, too busy getting and staying spiritual or too busy avoiding ourselves, avoiding being human, to see it.
Yet, at this moment we are in this power and it is in us, indeed, we know it and it knows us. And its joy, its only joy, is to be Nothing-But-Our-Joy, to make us fertile and complete just as we are, to draw forth from us what it always wants for us: Our-Love-And-Only-Love.
In today’s famous story from the Book of Genesis, Abraham, who has been chosen to be Father-of-Many, feels moved to in-tercede on behalf of righteous and innocent brethren who live among a wicked and self-centered people. But what moves Abra-ham to dare to intercede? Does not his Lord have the divine pre-rogative and the authority—because he is divine—to do as he wishes, when he wishes? Abraham does not see or experience his Lord in such a way.
He approaches and haggles with God with an impressive amount of trust, confidence, and boldness, and in return this power, the Divine Presence, responds to Abraham not with abstract, spirit- ual words, not as an authoritarian, but as He-Who-Is-Humble-Merciful, He-Who-Is-Kind, He-Who-Is-True, He-Who-Listens, He-Who-Cares.
Abraham’s experience of the Divine Presence is uncomplicated, and immediate: There is nothing between him and God: No arti-fice, no formality, no striving, and no ambition: Only Love. God is not concerned with an amount, a measurement or an arbi-trary standard of innocence or righteousness: His only concern is with, and for, us—His real people. His only concern is Mercy.
And when the disciples of Jesus ask him to teach them to pray, how does Jesus respond? In the abstract? With theory? With explanations? With a definition of prayer? Jesus offers them a Living, Breathing, Human prayer, a prayer from deep inside every human person, a prayer from Where-Love-Is, from where there is no falsehood, no excuses, and no judgment, from where there is no need to justify ourselves, or to succeed or to avoid failing: From where every creature of God is naturally, inno-cently, In-The-Presence-of-God, Father-Most-Holy, Mercy-Made-Real.
If only we would see Him: For, truly, with God there is no dis-tance, no cost, and no delay.
We are now as close to God as we shall always be: The bond of God with us, his living, breathing, human creatures, is a bond of Love, Forever-Close. Nothing precedes this bond, and nothing replaces it, for there is nothing greater, or more powerful than God-Who-Is-With-Us. God is ours not to have, but to know, and we only know God deep in our heart. Isn’t this why the first and the greatest commandment is one of love and closeness to God, to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul and mind?
When God created us, He put in each one of us something of Himself: His Joy, His Love, His Righteousness. But we are too busy being busy to acknowledge that we have been called into God, into our Lord Jesus Christ. We are so addicted to our self-driven struggles that we do not recognize when God’s Power, His Love, has approached us and is listening.
We do not want to believe in, and trust, or to serve this Power-Within-Us. It is too gentle, too humble: And it has no status, no fame, no wealth, it always gives itself to us at no cost and for no reason: God is simply, wholeheartedly, in love with us.
But we would rather serve and suffer for a demanding agenda, a rigid plan, an absolute black-and-white rule: for something that we can adhere to and that will finally and absolutely proves us ‘right,’ or keep us from being ‘wrong.’
Does it look like Jesus gives his disciples an agenda, a plan, a rule for praying? He does not. He tells them: When you pray, go to your Father, He is waiting, He loves you. When you pray, please trust Him, tell Him: He listens.
Believe it: God is listening. God is at this moment communica-ting Himself to us, his living, breathing, human creatures, as Love, with Love, and only Love.
May God the Divine Presence, now and always know you where you are truly you: in your heart.