Bri and I met an Easter person the other day.
We were looking into this little church when a nice lady introduced herself and asked if we wanted to go in. "Dee" (I changed her name) is a kind woman probably in her 70's who comes to this old church to pray a few times a week. She comes when she has the car that she shares with her granddaughter. That arrangement started after her husband died and her daughter's family moved in with her (or she moved in with them, not sure which but the former is probably much more likely. We met on Marco Island in an historic church Dee's been praying at for many years).
She prays at home but also likes going where she can settle down enough to really feel for heavenly guidance. When she asked if I knew what she meant by that it was all I could do not to preach on the rest that works. But that would have been preaching to the choir or worse since she's probably living the rest that works better than I am. A sincere "yes" seemed plenty from me.
Think of the pressures of having her daughter's family move in with her. I'm sure that she is thankful for them doing so, but you know that major challenges also accompany such a process. She's clearly trying to stay in a creative, graceful place no matter what challenges might be involved. I think she is succeeding. She is moving in tune with the dynamic, ever-creative Love of God. She's acting on what evolves from love as evidenced by her genuinely sharing what must have been her car with her granddaughter. Looking at the car as we walked back to our bikes, it was definitely a "grandma car" (It was the very nice Cadillac that you can see in the picture).
What hit me this morning was that Dee didn't refer to it as "her car." She called it "the car my granddaughter and I share." There was simply no ego involved. I hadn't yet seen the car as she spoke of the arrangement. As I listened to her, I assumed that it had previously been her granddaughter's car; she was so humble about the situation, like she was thankful to be able to share a car with her granddaughter. I think that she is thankful, but not for the reason I was assuming. I think that she is thankful that she can share the car that had previously been hers alone and be helpful to her granddaughter in that way. She's thankful for her daughter's family and is happy to play her part as creatively as possible in their new situation together. She is not making them adjust to her and her previous life; she is doing her best to create a new life together with them. It's both not that big of a deal and yet also a subtle shift from how we usually work - a shift that can change everything.
That's what Easter is all about - letting go of ego-stuff enough to clear the way for a true resurgence of life through creative love. It's part of why Jesus said, "take up your cross and follow me" and "you must lose your life to find it." He wasn't saying sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice. He was saying make investments in what gives life even if sacrifice is needed.
Not getting caught up in ego stuff is hardest closest to home - with things like our personal habits, homes and cars. For instance, had I been in Dee's shoes I probably would have called it "my car" and made it clear that "my daughter's family moved in with me." But she simply isn't thinking about things that way. She may not even be thinking about it but she's putting loving people before loving or identifying with things. She's living her version of the rest that works and it's producing the kind of freedom Jesus intended - freedom from selfish concern. Her needs are being met by loving herself and others in ways that aren't ego-centric. One of the unconscious fruits of her approach was making two complete strangers feel very much at home far away from home.
I don't think it's a coincidence that our word "home" is connected to the most ancient known word for God - "Om." The longer I live, the more I value simple, sincere, home-making love - the kind of love that puts us and those around us at home through love that values them more than any thing, including status. That's the kind of simple yet powerful love Dee is living as evidenced in our few moments together. It's the kind of love Jesus shared throughout his ministry, all the way to a cross. It is simple but potentially miraculous because of it's purity and grace. It opens doors where ego-centric approaches erect walls. It overcomes painful crosses through inviting a resurgence of the Creative Forces of God. I think that's why I felt inspired as we left that little church. In the small but sincere way of a certain feeling, Easter came early for me.
Of course, we don't have to go to a church to do what Dee is doing. We simply need to have some way to settle down and feel for the unforced rhythms of grace that give life. More power to you in feeling for them, finding them and moving with Creative Love in the details of your life. That's what the rest that works is all about.
Thanks for journeying together and Happy Easter!
(P.S. The next class on the rest that works starts next week on April 5th. Here's a link to the details: http://www.therestthatworks.com/events-calendar.html
I hope you can come!)