Friday, December 12, 2003 5:50 PM CST
Love in the GapI Corinthians 13:7
By: Gary DeVaul
A love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
During his stay in Maine Medical Center, Mark was having, and is still having, what is termed "phantom pain." To make matters worse he feels the pain as his mind felt them during the last moments of the crash. The brain is convinced that the wounded arm is still present and accounted for. To make matters better, Mark has learned to meditate as never before. He was taught to concentrate on the Holy Spirit as Light, just Light. He doesn't have to say anything; he just becomes quiet and concentrates on the Light.
There are many times in the gospels that Jesus did exactly the same thing. He would go out by Himself and pray. Rarely, with the exception of the Garden prayer and the Lord's Prayer, did He, or the gospel writers, ever tell us what he prayed for. Why were they silent on the subject? It was because Jesus was meditating on the Spirit. He was listening, not speaking. Meditation is not easy in a world filled with distractions, so Jesus went off alone. The Monks of the church have been practicing meditation for years. They describe it as placing yourself between thoughts, or in "the gap" between thoughts.
Not only does Mark receive healing and comfort from his time in meditation, but I noticed something wonderful about his presence afterward. His personality took on a refreshing glow of peace and love; of a love so powerful that it lifted him to a new dimension of thought and behavior towards others. It was as if he connected with the Spirit he saw behind every face he met. It reminded me of Jesus coming off the mount after the Transfiguration. Oh, I don't mean he glowed, or that he was otherworldly, but there was a visible, tangible, difference and it was wonderful.
A few years ago the University of New Hampshire purchased a powerful microscope that could actually see sub-atomic particles. My friend Dr. Allen shared this with me. For a nuclear scientist sub-atomic particles are important things. We talked about their composition, the fact that they were alive and constantly moving, that they reacted to one another in harmony, and that every morsel of matter in the Universe was made of them! Dr. Allen, my friend, and the nuclear physicist who explained this phenomenon to me said, "Do you know what Gary? It wasn't the particles themselves that I found so interesting. I had a pretty good idea what they would look like. It was the 'gaps' between the sub-atomic particles that took my breath away! The space between the particles was filled with a waving harmonic field of pure energy; it is that harmonic energy that held the particles together." Dr.Allen said it resembled the waves of heat rising from the street on a hot day. And then he looked me square in the face and said, "I love Jesus with all my heart and He's allowed me to see the face of God!" There were tears in his eyes. And then he said to me something so profound. He said, "There is harmony in the gap that represents love Gary. It's the love that's felt by the monks in the monasteries when they meditate, clear their minds, and slip into that gap between thoughts. It's the love we feel when sitting in a public place. Our mind wanders or daydreams and then we see a small child, and a smile stretches our cheeks.
Divinity was a knowing to Dr. Allen. He is a scientist trained to believe in empirical fact, and God revealed Himself to this wonderful, faithful, man in a way he could understand. He found the face of God in the gap between sub-atomic particles.
The love that bears all things is the love that Mark found in the gap. It is the love that binds us one to another. This force, or spiritual energy is God, and it is the basis of creation. When Jesus said my Father and I are one, he was speaking the truth. This Spirit does not only connect us-it becomes us. It is our awareness of this Spirit and our relationship to it that changes our lives.
The author of Genesis told the story of creation in his own way. He said God gathered the dust of the earth and formed man and then breathed the breath of life into him, and he was alive. The "breath" of life in Hebrew is the "wind" or "Sprit". We are animated with the Spirit of God! And what is the tip off to us that identifies this spiritual essence? It is that mystical connection between all living things. We become aware of it in the gap, in prayer and meditation. It is the love that bears all things, even the loss of arms and hands.
Some years ago in Washington D.C. a jet liner crashed into the Potomac River. It was winter; snow and ice filled the river. Many lost their lives in the crash. You might remember the story. It was telecast throughout the country by film crews on the spot. One woman escaped the plane. She was swimming through the ice to shore. She was struggling valiantly to save her life, but hypothermia was taking its toll and she was about to drown. A rescue helicopter appeared over her, dropping a line to her with a life preserver attached. She got her arm through the life preserver and the helicopter lifted her from the water, and then her strength gave out. She plummeted back into the freezing Potomac and began to drown.
There was a man standing on shore that saw her struggle and slip beneath the ice and water. He jumped, and swam, and saved the woman. Later as he stood wrapped in blankets at the rivers edge, the reporters asked him why he did it. He said I don't know. I didn't think. I just saw her drowning - and the next thing I knew - I was with her. He didn't stop to think. The Spirit telegraphed and he jumped. That's love in the gap, the love that bears all things.
The love that believes all things is not born of naiveté. The love that believes all things is the love that does not judge people or circumstances. This is the love of acceptance. Lovers accept one another as they are. Love, true love, agape love, is non-judgmental love. It does not spend its days on the telephone cursing the darkness, blaming others, or finding fault. It does not make fun of the fat lady walking down the street. For in that fat person the eye of love sees only Spirit. The love that believes all things accepts people, conditions and circumstances as they are. It does not kick the goad, curse the darkness, or make excuses for itself. It says, "Well this is the way things are." The love that believes all things brings a non-judgmental clarity to the circumstances of one's life and makes good decisions possible.
It does one more important thing. It requires we accept responsibility for our selves. No more blaming our parents, poverty, abuse, or the Devil made me do it. We learn to accept ourselves and our circumstances without blaming ourselves, or anyone else, and the result is peace.
Mark had asked me on several occasions to go with him to Worchester, Massachusetts, that fateful Sunday of August 3rd. It was a two and a half hour ride both ways and I really didn't want to make the trip. Of course I wish now I had, and just after the accident my heart was doubly broken with guilt and anguish. One night in the hospital he saw it in my eyes. He took my hand and said, "Gary, there is no one to blame." Love fills the Gaps.