As I recall, the year was 1993 and I was sitting with a dear friend who was nearing the end of her life. She was diagnosed, a year earlier, with a terminal illness and her corporal form was yielding to the inevitable. She looked at me and said, “Curtis, please sing for me, sing me that song I heard you sing the other day, you know, the one about ‘…count your blessings instead of sheep!” I did, of course, honor her request and I remember the moment well. As I sang each word my eyes filled with tears mostly because of all the possible things she could have asked of me, what she wanted most was this simple song and she asked that I sing it to her. Me, she wanted Me, to sing for her!
When I’d finished, she smiled and said “…you know, we have so little time to make our mark. Seems like that despite all of our technical and economic accomplishments all we’ve really done is make it more difficult to find out what our true purpose is. What we really have accomplished is only the art of distraction! We’ve made it so hard to touch one another. I wish I would have sung more!”
She “passed” not longer after my time with her and I’ll not soon forget the warmth of her smile and those fabulous brown eyes but what will last far longer was the permanent impression of her words! Yes, I became even more conscious of how little time we actually do have to make a difference in the World, and yes, we most definitely do make it so very difficult to “touch” one another! It’s not so much that life is short as it is that we consume so much time working through life’s clutter to a point where we might be able to, if we ever do, ask ourselves the question of “what” am I going to do and “how” am I going to go about doing it!
More to the point, at least for this entry, is to offer what I hope to be a perspective on some of the more unnecessary forms of “clutter” and I ask that you hang in there with me on this before you snap to a judgment. Give it time, try it on and let’s see if it fits:
What is often lost in or by the lexicon of Christian teachings is that Jesus actually never taught a religion. Further, what is often overlooked is that he was a Jew who was teaching a message whose single ambition was to express what he observed as being lost or overlooked in the practices of man’s daily life. In the vernacular of contemporary phrasing, he was “a game changer!” Though, to be sure, I’m certainly no biblical scholar, I would offer, still, that what he was bringing to the court of life was the greater perspective of “form in practice” and not “function” in the abstract notion of the ordinary “routine”.
Further, the idea that Man is not God’s expression of the collective but the divine expression of Individual grace and that in the supremely Individual expression of Grace, we learn our truer Nature one who’s Origins are none other than God himself. More importantly, perhaps, this “Individual expression of Grace” is, in fact, God’s expression of what we humans refer to as Love. However, Humans express Love as an emotion or as an emotional response. Quite possibly, what may be God’s version of Love is not emotional at all but in fact, evidenced by his physical (forms) expressions. And yes, one of his most perfect expression is none other than YOU! More over, God’s Love may be what we identify as “perfect” or the act of “perfecting”. For example, isn’t it the case that when you have and image in your mind of that which you want to create (bring in to physical form) that which, once completed, you step back, look at it and say with satisfaction: “perfect”!
For me, the construct that we refer to as religion should never be a partition we use to separate ourselves from one another but in whose practices we learn that there are no such partitions! In fact, I would go even further by saying, that if we find ourselves repulsed by the expression of ones perspective, it may be that, individually, we have erected the very partitions which prevent and/or separate us from one another – and therein lies our single greatest challenge.
Jesus, arguably, the single greatest parabolic teacher of any time, would likely have seen these very partitions in much the same way as he viewed the merchants in the Temple. His upset may have been stirred by their having lost the understanding of “form in practice” which was evidenced by the distortions of the Merchants “function” or, perhaps, it may also have been that he was certain they should have known better.
And so, when I say to you or when we might say to one another – “Merry Christmas” – perhaps we might accept the expression as an affirming expression of “hope”! A “hope” that one day we will each look at one another and know that what we see before us is, in fact, the perfect and supremely individual expression of God’s grace and that we have so much more to do in perfecting this understanding and so little time to make our mark in the doing of it!
Yes, I want you to have a Merry Christmas each and every day of your life and, I want us all to sing a whole lot more!
In the practice of ones Life it is “perfect” that it should be your “forms practice” to be giving and expressing Grace, in abundance, with each stroke of your brush upon the canvas of life! I couldn’t possibly think of a better way to paint a life in color!
Merry Christmas to all and may the Blessings of an Infinite Love provide you and yours its perfect form, not just for the Christmas Season, but for always!
Curtis C. Greco, Founder