I was struck by how truly and intimately I meant the words “I see you, and I
commit to you”; even after saying it to more than 30 people in a row. My
heart was fully present to each person. Each person was important and dear
to me because of the journey that we have walked together, so far. I KNOW
them. Even the newest members to the path. They are not merely faces in the
crowd I see on Sunday. They are my brothers and sisters, and we are ‘Our
Normally, I am not at a loss for words. However, when it comes to describing last night’s recommittment service, words fail me.
At dinner, before the service, Douglas Dart and I were discussing those ephemeral experiences in life which defy description. These are times when we are so involved in the moment of the experience that we are able to forget about ourselves and just experience. We discussed things like the beauty of a sunset, a perfect poem, or moments of worship in choral music when the words and notes line up perfectly with each other. Last night was such an experience for me.
It astounded me how much I care about each and every person with whom I locked eyes and hands last night to speak forth my commitment and hear each of theirs. In several cases, the degree of the bond that I felt with the person across from me was the closest I’ve felt in my lifetime outside of family; closer than fellow exchange students, college roommates, and colleagues I’ve worked with for 12 years. It was not of this world.
I have some friends who know about Abbey Way and last summer, in a conversation about them coming to Abbey Way, the wife said, “Oh, I could never go to Abbey Way. Too much commitment.” She has no idea.
Did you know yesterday was also Transfiguration Sunday? When I asked Jan how we could acknowledge Transfiguration her response was that we didn’t need to…after the commitment activity we would ALL be glowing. How true!
I couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t stop the tears. I am so grateful.
I would echo what Douglas said.
I started out anxious because I was afraid I would say the words but not mean them and be disingenuous. I also have a bit of a cultural thing about looking people in the eyes, so I knew it would feel uncomfortable for me. But I surprised myself. I visualized looking beyond each person’s eyes into their real self and to say to them that I would see them for who they are - warts and all - and truly commit. Now who knows if I can really do this in practice…I would say the Spirit can do it through me -and- I might still screw it up. But yes, I felt a deep, living bond between us.
I can always tell when something has affected me at a deep level—it
impacts my dreams. Last night in a dream, (vision?), I saw the faces of
each of you pass by me. As you passed, I was reciting the verse: “Bless
the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name.” So,
know that I see you, even when I’m sleeping. I commit myself to, and