Saturday morning at the annual SoulStream partner gathering at Sorrento, Lorie Martin, our retreat facilitator, invited us to enter the meeting room in silence. Pictures of creation were scattered over two long tables. She asked us to choose an image that represented our soul. This one intrigued me because it shows life on the surface of the sea as well a life beneath.
The black water under the boat teems with fish, but the fisherman can’t see it. This illustrates what I’ve been reading in Anthony de Mello’s Awareness and wrote about last week. Awareness is being able to see below the surface and know that I don’t need the love I’m striving to get or keep. All is already given and I can just enjoy it.
We were invited to reflect and journal about our pictures and remain in silence, even during the break. When I went down to the dining hall to get a coffee, I saw Deb coming the other way. Deb and I work together in the Living From the Heart course. When our eyes met, we grinned at each other and touched hands as we passed by. The look on my face and the touch of my hand told her how much she is loved. It delighted me to imagine how good that made her feel.
I got my coffee and was making my way back to the meeting room still thinking about our brief encounter. Suddenly it dawned on me that Deb must have felt the same delight, as she imagined how good it was for me to receive her love. (In fact, she told me later that she did.)
It touched me then and it touches me now as I write about it. I don’t have to be her new best friend or sit beside her to have worth. I can just love her and receive her love without needing anything from her.
When I returned to the meeting room, I picked up the picture I’d chosen. My heart felt full as I looked at the sea beneath my boat filled with people. Among them was Deb, shining in the sea of my soul. Marijke, who sat beside me, pointed to one of the fish and whispered, “That’s me.” I smiled and nodded at this woman who was my classmate in Art of Spiritual Direction over ten years ago.
The day before the gathering, Fred and I camped for a night by Shuswap Lake. Early that morning, I sat quietly in the silence and looked at the lake. Every once in a while a fish would break the surface. I’d hear a tiny splash and then it was gone. There’s more down here than you can imagine, the tiny splash testified.
Back home again, I set my timer for twenty minutes and open myself to God in the silence. My body relaxes as I recall the picture of the fisherman on the surface of the sea and the abundance of life teeming within my soul. I feel myself let go of what I think I need and rest in the goodness of what I have.
My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.–Jesus
John 10:10 (TLB)
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It was a joy to have SoulStream partner Lorie Martin introduce us to Celtic Spirituality at our annual gathering. Lorie lives in Abbotsford, B.C. where she offers spiritual direction/companionship, inner healing sessions, and leads contemplative retreats. Lorie has journeyed through the deepest of waters in a series of losses including the death of their youngest daughter. In these authentic raw experiences, she has learned to embrace both the grief and the graces that impact us deeply, change our lives, and crack us open to our core. Lorie holds space for all people, inviting openness to fresh awareness and experience of Divine Presence in suffering, dying, waiting, and in the new risen life that emerges. She is the author of Invited, Choose Love, Grace upon Grace, and 2018 The Next Dawn. Lorie graduated from SoulStream’s Art of Spiritual Direction in 2007 and has been a part of retreats around the world.