The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread. (LK 24:35)
This first sentence of today’s gospel passage could have been written yesterday or the day before in Binghamton, NY, USA. As a matter of fact, it is my opinion that (with a little more attention) we could have these experiences no matter where we live.
Yesterday was our bi-weekly book study at the Sophia Center. From noon to 1:30pm a group of “No Ordinary Women” (a designation we appropriated from our first book a few years ago: No Ordinary Time by Jan Phillips) we talked freely, honestly and deeply about the joys and challenges of living in our human, feminine bodies. We recognized ourselves in one another as we also celebrated our uniqueness in some of our experiences.
The day before, in a similar but not matching group of women, ideas for creative fundraising projects bounced around a different room with an energy and creativity that was beautiful to behold. What was happening was the gathering of possibilities for meaningful experiences of generosity. Willingness to share without worry about competing for the prize of the best idea or the most knowledge about such endeavors fueled not only the flames in the fireplace but also our spirits. It was, just as yesterday’s, an “all for one and one for all” experience and the impetus was the desire for deepening wisdom and community – as well as for the goal of raising money, of course!
In our seriously fragmented world, gatherings such as these cannot fail, in my opinion, to spread the light of Christ in the world. Regardless of topic or activity, it is the presence of people willing to do what Thomas Merton called “forgetting yourself on purpose” in order to “join in the general dance” that moves us closer to the center of oneness. Why not take the time today to find a partner or two – or six or seven – and dance. “Dance,” I say, “into the deep waters of spiritual awakening!”