Fred and I gathered on Vancouver Island with family and friends of my nephew Lee to spread his ashes. Some came just for the ceremony, some for a few days and, others, like us, stayed for the whole week to wander in the mountains and forests and along the seashore–the places Lee loved best.

The afternoon of the ceremony was sunny and warm. We assembled at the beach, and I led with quotes by Richard Wagamese and Dostoyevsky, and poems by Hafiz. Others present shared their memories and reflections. We remembered how Lee loved, then lovingly, we let him go.

Over the week, we played outside, cooked together and visited microbreweries and cafés. I enjoyed conversations with siblings and nieces and their spouses who live far away. I loved watching them interact with my son and daughter and their spouses and my grandson. But, I didn’t enjoy my recurring feeling of inadequacy. I was often disappointed in myself, that I wasn’t more thoughtful, compassionate, or calm. I wished I was more well-read, more physically fit. I also didn’t like how my feelings of inadequacy and disappointment shifted my focus from others to myself.

And where was God?

Silently with me–the eagles circling above, the owl perched stoically by the river, the deer wandering down to the beach at dawn–not saying a word.

The morning after we returned home, I read this in a poem by Steve Garnaas-Holmes:

Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
Not your sin, not your most horrible awfulness …
Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
You are in it like the air, like gravity …

My “horrible awfulness” didn’t separate me from God’s love. But that love didn’t take away my horrible awful feelings either–and I wanted it to.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:38-39

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Thursday morning, before we packed up again and left for the annual SoulStream Partner Gathering at Sorrento, BC,  I received this email from a friend. “Karen and I will truly miss being with the community of SoulStream gathering… as we tread Le Chemin de St. Jacques (Camino) in France. In almost every church here, there is an icon in statuary or in paint of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which has been a powerful entry into the welcome of Jesus for me. I have recently become aware that each of our hearts is sacred to Jesus.  Your heart is sacred to Him. As you gather, I offer this prayer, which worked well for me today as a repetitive prayer while walking:

Jesus, heart of the Father,
Holder of our sacred hearts within your sacred heart,
We welcome you.
Spirit of Jesus, pray for us and with us.”

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Photo of Miracle Beach by Suzanne Tucker. Used with permission.
Photo of whitetail deer by Russ [CC BY 2.0 (
Photo of Sacred Heart by Doug Webber.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Prayer, Reflections, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Inseparable

  1. Martha says:

    The “nothing can separate you from the love of God” was predictable, but the “…that love didn’t take away my horrible awful feelings either–and I wanted it to.” was refreshingly not predictable–and so down-to-earth real…Thank you, for once again not letting us down with easy answers.


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