I have lost track of the source of the wonderful phrase about how we are all connected by an “invisible web of divinity.” Yesterday I experienced the web in one of our contemplative groups in the School for Contemplative Living, again. I invited the participants to share personal stories of their own sacred journey. What emerged out of our opening period of silent meditation and sacred yoga postures was a stream of holy sharing that revealed that web of divinity connecting us all.
One of the stories was how a woman learns the faces of each group member while we share each week. She says those faces stay within her forever. Then in trying times she calls on those faces as a source of comfort. In yesterday’s group she decided she could also reverse the process. She sent spiritual comfort back towards each person along that same interconnecting web. This was her way of doing what Quakers call “holding us in the Light.” I would also call it a way of “holding us in her heart,” as I wrote about in the last blog.
Another lady spoke of the great gift of sharing about sacred things within the group, since she had no other place to freely share her spiritual journey with people who would understand and be interested without judgment. Those were her words for discovering the delight of being so connected by the invisible web of divinity. The group has become what her soul has longed for.
Another lady shared how hard it had been to leave the religious tradition of her first 50 years, to wander in the desert of having no spiritual community for over a decade, and the tentative joy she was finding as she learned to open herself to the possibility of a spiritual home with other followers. She described the difficulty of letting go of prescribed doctrines which had been drilled into her for decades without having replacement truths to put in their place. We agreed with her that the Way of Unknowing, the spiritual path of admitting we have very few “answers” about the Mystery we call God, can be daunting. We also supported her in the courageous step of locating herself within a spiritual community who walk that same path of increasing comfort with not knowing. This too revealed the invisible web connecting us all, which is not built by adopting identical doctrines or beliefs.
A male group member described how he had found comfort in liturgy and sacred music of the church for decades. But recently those experiences had not provided much fulfillment. In their place, he was delighted to find that learning the simple act of centering prayer, sitting silently in God’s presence with groups, was offering a deep source of spiritual nourishment. He was not belittling his previous sources of nourishment. He was simply noting that things can change over the course of one’s spiritual journey, and that he was now surprised to be experiencing the invisible web of divinity in the simplicity of silent centering.
So here is my conclusion: I believe the divine is wooing us toward direct relationship in every moment, is willing to use anything as a gate of heaven through which we might be drawn, and has strung a divine web of interconnectedness between us so that we can know Her through the silent presence, group sharing, and even spiritual imaging of each other. In a Mystery beyond our understanding, God finds us and we find Her as we connect in community. Thanks be to God for this amazing way to come Home through the invisible web of divinity connecting us all!
For more stories like this see Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic Culture.