Acquaintances of mine lost their house to fire a few days ago. They’ve been kindly sharing their experience daily on a Facebook group. They’re a family of 9 (2 parents/7 children) and it’s been both sad and inspiring following their journey.
Yesterday, with the smoke and heat having settled, they were finally able to walk through the wreckage of their home.
They collected books, both old and new, and look what they found in the burnt out remains of a bedroom. A page to a book from 1915. This page so perfect in its message, a hundred years later, revealing its meaning to the family in a time of trial.
The message coupled with the scorched page touches my heart in a way that the touching feels literal not figurative.
I’m not a religious person. Going to the School for the Work last year and learning inquiry was a way for me to find me…and then, surprisingly, I also found God.
When I first started explaining the three kinds of “business” to people (your business, my business and God’s business), I used to only give God things like tsunamis/bad weather. And then last summer during a retreat, a click happened when the question was asked:
“Is it true that you have control over your life…even a little bit?
I have even some control- is that true?”
My first was reaction was YES! I mean…okay, of course, not complete control but SOME surely. I decide. I make things happy. I have personal power. Ra ra ra, and all that. I wanted to assert that to the group but as is the way of self reflective inquiry I chose to look deeper. Sitting in the quiet meditation of that question, I noticed something else begin to surface. A tentative answer that I wasn’t expecting. No. It’s not true that I have even some control. Instead of pushing it away as nonsense I allowed it to emerge. It was actually a possibility of ‘no‘ that opened up inside rather than a fully formed acceptance of that declaration. Allowing in the quiet possibility of ‘no’, made a significant crack in the concrete foundation of “This is MY life.”
Katie often says, “Don’t believe me – test it for yourself. So, I’ve been doing just that.
And, of course, since then I continue to find more and more ‘business’ to give over to God. Eventually, I suspect I’ll discover what a friend told me over a year ago, that there is actually only one kind of business – God’s business. Full stop.
Until then, while doing the Work and living this life, I’ll continue to look for God’s business, letting each new discovery settle into my heart. When sitting in inquiry I ask, what part of this is God’s business? I have to ask because it’s often elusive to me at first but then low and behold…the answer shows up in a quiet whisper. And instead of shushing it, I listen. I listen until the noise of the obvious “This, too, is God’s business” is so loud that I’m astounded that, yet again, I had missed it.
This scorched page, found in the rubble of a burnt out home, is a confirmation of my own journey. It was a timely discovery for the dear family and I’m thankful they shared it. A message from the ashes of their home to my heart.