Not orphaned

          The Spirit of truth, whom world does not know or see,
                  abides with you, and is in you.
         I will not leave you orphaned.
         I am in God, and you in me, and I in you.

                  —John 14. 17, 18, 20

I just returned from a week in which I saw a lot of family: two sons and a girlfriend and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews. They are dear to me; even though we live thousands of miles apart and rarely see each other, they have a place in my heart. I love them and, in a way, I carry them around with me.

There is a Love, a Presence, in whom we live, and who loves us and holds us and carries us around, to whom we are important, and dear, and a source of delight. It is sometimes hard to imagine, because we can't see with our eyes or hug with our arms, but it's true. It's no easier to imagine a solar system held together by the force of gravity that works over millions of miles, even though I can't see that, either. But it's true. We are not orphaned.

Jesus repeatedly invites us to shed the illusion that we are alone, that we are isolated individuals. We are part of the life of the Holy One, who lives in us, and we are part of each other. Near or far, seen or unseen, we are connected, we are claimed, we are accompanied. Trust that among those loved ones whom you hold dear in your heart, there is One who holds you, to whom you are a source of delight, One who is not far away at all, but with you, and even within you.

Meditate on this mystery, that you are held and loved and accompanied and gathered and made one. Let this mystery surround you, breathe deeply of it and let it fill you with life, and give thanks.

                    —May 20, 2014