In the last week or so, I have received three compliments that have knocked my socks off. Two of them were very touching and one kind of hilarious – but so synchronistic that it also really got my attention.
On the Martin Luther King march on January 15, my friend Joelle introduced me to a young woman friend of hers who she thought I must know but who I didn’t recognize. The new woman said, “I know you from your poetry at Jubilee. I’m the one who nominated you as one of the heroes of Asheville.” It came back to me: I had received an email about this, wanting some kind of input from me, that totally slid under the radar until after the deadline. I remember being touched by the thought, sad that I had missed it – and confused about what it could possibly mean. Why would someone I didn’t know hold me this way. My poetry can be insightful, self-disclosing, sometimes very funny – but hero? What in all that would add up to hero?
After church at Jubilee this last Sunday, I was handing out information about my Activism with Heart coaching. One 40ish guy – good looking, with a big black beard and a fresh, funny, friendly way about him – took my handout with a lot of enthusiasm. He gave me a couple of affirmations that I get frequently enough that I unfortunately don’t pay attention to them and don’t remember what they were. Then he said one that was so fresh that it stopped me in my tracks. “You’re the voice.” Now what does that mean? I wish I had had the presence of mind to ask, but he was all the time moving past me – just outside of church – and towards his car, and he was basically gone. The best I can figure is that he meant “You are the voice for me….You are saying things that I would want to say or that I feel or believe.”
The third affirmation, just a little earlier that morning, was silly but also stopped me in my tracks. I had that morning pulled out of my sock drawer the Superman socks that my friend Kate had sent me for Christmas. That she really does in some ways regard me as a kind of Superman – or at least a super man – really means a lot to me, even as we tease about it, and these socks were a kind of extension of that teasing. This morning, on my way to make a presentation on Releasing the Force at Jubilee, I wanted the extra oomph I might get from wearing Superman socks.
As far as I can remember, never in my life has anyone but Kate called me Superman. When I arrived at church, the first person who greeted me was my good friend Timbo, who piped up “Superman!” I was totally floored. My pants weren’t so short that Tim could see my socks. I don”t think that he is actually Superman, with x-ray vision. As far as I know, he’s never seen me do anything that would position me as any kind of Superman. When I showed him my socks, he was totally knocked out too. “I don’t know why I said that – it just popped out.”
So what does all this mean? Am I a hero? The Voice? Superman?
I think that, at my best, I surrender to the Force, to the Voice of God within me, to Life. I don’t actually even do the surrendering – it wells up from some deep place that sometimes I somehow connect with. I am being well-used. I am an instrument.
And never more than now. I am on to something in this Releasing the Force work. It has been given to me. Unbidden, it came to me. And it has given me tremendous energy, motivation and enthusiasm. In the throes of birthing this work, I am plugged into Source and am way bigger than the usual Majo is.
None of it is about me. I am absolutely not up to this task, yet for some reason I have been chosen to do it. I’m attempting to get out of the way so it can pour through me. I am doing that which is mine to do.
St. Francis – if indeed he wrote this – said it better than anything I have said above. And whoever created the music – which my 8th grade class sang at our graduation from a Catholic elementary school and which touched me even then – was also plugged into something bigger than themselves.
And the Superman business was life teasing me about the whole thing, in much the same way as Kate does. Neither of them wants me to take myself too seriously.
Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace