It's as if God's Spirit just manifests and we are all suddenly AWAKE and AWARE, in our "God spot," as someone described it this evening.
We take turns leading the group, and tonight was my turn. I chose the passage in John 11 about Jesus raising Lazarus, but we only read verses 17 through 26 which ends with Jesus asking Martha, "Do you believe this?"
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;26.and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
I spoke about my struggle with death...the idea of my own, and seeing my mother die in 1994. One moment "she" (my mom) was there, occupying the body lying there in the hospital bed, and the next moment, "she" was no longer there. Whatever it is that animates us as humans was simply gone. AND WHERE DID IT GO? Existentialist that I am, that question came to me within just a few moments of losing my mother, seeing her take her very last breath on this earth. Where is she? Where did she go? And that question has never really been far from my conscious awareness ever since.
I said something about feeling more comfortable with death in recent years only as I've become more aware of the utter mystery of life.
At that point someone else began talking about the soul and about how we are all connected, which led to conversation about quantum physics and the scientific evidence supporting our actual connectedness at the subatomic particle level. And how when we are in our "God spot" we are aware of the truth of all this.
Someone else spoke of how she began to understand the meaning of "grounded," and how she feels that rootedness and groundedness, not so much in her family of origin, but in her "tribe," meaning us, her spiritual family. She said "tribe," I think, because someone else had mentioned that recent PBS show tracing the origins of humanity through DNA, and how scientists can show how humanity migrated across the continents, evolving facial features and body types slowly through the centuries as the different climates dictated. We are all one!
And then someone else spoke of an "I AM" experience she's had in a spiritual therapy group. This was something with which I resonated deeply. Growing up feeling disconnected, not belonging...we experience something so foundational that it gives us a sense of boundaried self, the "I AM." I am me. I am here. I am of some kind of substance, even if it's only a kind of energy. I am.
The evening's sharing/witnessing-- all together it reminded me of how I believe so deeply that all human beings are created in the image of God, and how, for me, that means we all have something indestructible of God in us -- the soul. Something of us continues after death because something of us IS the lifeforce of the whole cosmos.
"Do you believe this?" Jesus asks me tonight.
Yes, Jesus, I believe.