O Greatest Fear, I bow not down

The circling of the spheres
turns wide and wild
its dance off-balance, oblong, stormy-strong.

And I am twisted off my axis
out of kilter now
oft’ falling down
as though reeling from a long, drunken night.

It’s a universal vertigo
that has us now
everyone twisted out of shape
and thrown off-center

as the Great Fears stand above us
lauding it over us
turning within us
ruling every heart and mind.

We’ve been away from Home a long time now
and weary from the wilderness-wandering
and bleary-eyed
and forgetting the way Home too often.

Like pilgrims out on a starless night
fearing the shadows everywhere
our eyes straining for a glimpse of light
finding only more of that lonely old night.

Then You come.
You simply sit beside me as dawn nears
as though You have been here all night long
near, without disturbing
close enough to touch
without intruding on my solitude.

I sense you have just been waiting for me to notice
You there
You seem so skilled at this silent, patient waiting
Your hands open-palmed in Your lap
Your look a gentle invitation
to pour out what is rocking my world.

And so I tell You
I finally say what fears are twirling around in my head
endless loops repeating their imaginary scenes.
They all come down to this one story
“I will be abandoned in the end.”

And You,
You offer no false comfort
You hear me and do not turn away.
There is no nervous twitch,
no look of disturbance or anxiety
to get away from my pain.
I see one simple response
Your silent tear in one eye for me.
For me.

And seeing You seeing me
I notice an inner shift.
Somehow in this moment I am Home again.
We are here in Inner Home together.

And I can hardly bear this wonder
this seed blooming forth within,
between us, all around us.
And I want to get up and dance
out into the world
to call all my brothers and sisters together
and say, “See what I have found,”
or, “See Who has found me.”

But first I turn to face what I was so afraid of
and speak my mind
and find my power

O greatest fear, I bow not down
for you are Not my God.
I see you clear
I know your fearsome power
I face into you, as into a mighty wind.

For I have known wind in the face before
and it did not break me
or crush my heart.
My brothers and sisters
we learned to stand together
embraced by Powers greater than you.

And we have found our way Home now
into that silent, steady inner country
that stills our fearful hearts
and centers us

O Great Love
You empower us by Your gentle presence
and willingness to listen long to our fears.
You draw us together with your tears
for us.
You make a safe place
where we can say our fearsome worries
to each other.
And when we do
My God
we are community
we are Home.

To You, we bow down
in reverence and stillness
no longer alone.


About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through Amazon.com; and of a blog on Wordpress.com, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (www.thescl.net), adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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