One of my memories from childhood, living in Detroit, was playing outside in the summer. All of us neighborhood kids would play together, up and down the street. And it didn’t matter where we played, everyone knew us. So our parents usually knew when we did something wrong. One parent would call another, and before I got home, what ever it was that I had done was know. No use telling lies, just admit it and move on. It was a wonderful feeling, knowing I was being watched, taken care of, and always feeling safe.
Old neighborhoods where like extended families, I always had a place to stop, if need be. We knew everyone on our block, and I could talk to anyone of them, and know that I was safe.
Feeling safe is like bundling up in a nice warm blanket with a cup of hot tea and reading a good book, you just have contentment with life, and we just feel snug and safe. It’s a good feeling. It’s a feeling I use to get by sitting in my moms lap when I was little, or the feeling of a good hug when you’re down.
As we get older we often times look for replacements to that feeling, we look to find other ways of feeling safe. But in reality most of us fail to find that replacement. That feeling of being able to roam the neighborhood as I once did, or the deeply felt hug from mom, they are feelings that can not be replaced or substituted with others, but we still try.
The deepness of a hug from mom made me feel safer then anything ever could, it went in to my core and penetrates my being. I can still feel the effects of them today, as I write this blog. It brings tears to my eyes for the loss of that hug, but also fills me with hope and a sense of safety.
That is the effects of love, the feeling of hope and safety, they last forever!
In our adult lives we often look to others for the feeling, or we look to sex, drugs and any other form of escape. We crave that feeling, we are looking for it in all we do, but all too often we fail to find it.
We are too old to return to our mothers lap, and in some cases we no longer can, because they have passed on in to the next life. The old neighborhood is no longer the same, people have moved out or moved on, and we have grown.
Time moves on, but our need to feel safe does not.
The warm blanket, tea and good book comes close on rainy nights, but its not the too the core feeling, but rather a surface feeling. It fits the bill most of the time, gives me that sense of safety I long for.
Faith is like that also, we all have memories of times when we truly felt God in our lives, to the core, filling our complete being. But like the feeling of safety, all too often we are trying to recreate that feeling. And all too often we fail.
I have had a few experiences of this total being feeling of oneness with God, of feeling that God was truly present in my life.
I was attending a youth mass, as a minister, in the catacombs of Saint Johns Seminary, and all who attended stood completely around the alter. It was a beautiful sight, seeing the faces of the young and old mixed in, all experiencing the mysteries of the mass. The presiding Priest chanted the complete mass, filling the catacombs with reverberating tones, the word of God bouncing back to me, vibrating thru me, and consuming my thoughts and my soul. I was lost in the moment yet felt as if I was found. I experienced the presence of God like I never had before, and have not again. I was left glowing, light filled my soul and connected me to all others experiencing the mass, not just then and there, but to me it felt like past present and future. My soul never felt so alive, and my heart was never at more peace. It was total and utter bliss. I was one with God, and I never wanted it to end.
I have been looking for that experience, that oneness, that sense of safety from that point on. But have yet to reconnect to it.
We are all searchers, explorers in one way or another, and we all are searching for the same thing, we are all searching for that safe place, the place filled with love and understanding. A place with no rejection that place where our soul emit light so bright that our path to salvation is clearly lit. And we all have experienced it in our lives; we all have felt that safe loving feeling, in our core, and filling our total being. But some how we seem to forget, or time moves on and we no longer feel safe.
Look to God and you will once again find that safe neighborhood, where everyone takes care of you, and gives you that safe place to rest.