Thursday, February 14, 2008
More from When the Heart Waits
I’ve written before about the wonderful book When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd. I am reading it in bits because I want to savor all she has to offer. Here’s a passage I especially like.
Ms. Kidd cites the children’s song “I’m a Little Teapot.” You probably remember it: “I’m a little teapot, short and stout./Here is my handle; here is my spout./If you turn the heat up, I will shout,/’Tip me over and pour me out!’” Then she makes the comparison with times of darkness in our lives:
“We’re containers filled with an ego elixir we’ve brewed ourselves. When the heat is turned up inside and the old begins to burn away, we must offer God the handle and the spout of our lives. God tips us over and pours us out. The ‘me’ is poured out: the self with a lower case s, the old way of being, the old way of relating to God. We’re emptied so that we can be refilled with new and living waters.
“Mid-life is a time for tipping over. . . We’re receiving a loving call from God to move into a wider and deeper dimension of the spiritual life. We’re being EMPTIED of the old. It become darkened to us. As John of the Cross wrote, the purpose of the dark night is to purge us. . .
“Transformation depends on this stripping away (or ‘denuding’ as John of the Cross called it), a process that involves undoing ego patterns, recasting the old story we created for ourselves to live in, and unraveling illusions not only about ourselves but about God.
“This stripping away both demands and creates a temporary darkness. . . Too many of us panic in the dark. We don’t understand that it’s a HOLY dark and that the idea is to surrender to it and journey through to real light.”
Isn’t that lovely?