Recently, I read the latest Louise Penny book with her main character Inspector Gamache. It is probably no surprise that I had a dream with Gamache in it. But this dream was first significant because I remembered it and second because it cut right to where I am in my prayer and everyday life.
In the dream Gamache receives a note in a child’s handwriting that says:
I am here.
Gamache knows that a child has gone missing and this could be from her. After searching and searching and not finding her Gamache fears that he is only going to recover small pearly bones.
The dream shifts as dreams often do and the little girl speaks directly to me. She shows me the message again:
I am here.
In reflection I interpret this message as two parts. Do I earnestly search for the “Godness” which gives the spark of life within me and everyone and everything who shares life with me: the land, the plants and animals, the water, the air, the sun, the planets and the stars? Am I recognizing the Christ in all aspects of creation? Am I searching for goodness [Godness] everywhere? St. Patrick reminds me that Christ is within me, above me, before me, behind me, below me.
I ask myself how often do I recognize that the fire of God’s love is what causes me to live and move and have my being? Must I remind myself that the Christ in me recognizes the Christ in you? Yes, everyday. But it is grace which brings that thought to mind and I must willingly recognize that Jesus is standing right in front of me in the person before me.
St. Theresa of Avila reminds me of what to do next. She says: “Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which He looks compassion on this world.”
The disciples on Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit were fearless in becoming Jesus’ hands and feet and voices. They proclaimed the good news. To everyone who would listen they shared the message of Jesus: I am here, I am here . . . and I will never leave or abandon you. I do this out of my love for you!
The second part of the message is that at this time in my life a gentle whisper like the one Elizah’s heard at the mouth of the cave has deep feeling and meaning for me [Kings 19:11-13]. My heart can still be on fire but the blaze comes after the listening of the gentle whisper.
Dreams are often carriers of messages with great meaning. My messenger let me know that I am to stay present in the moment. Not the past, not the future. Just resting in the Now. She let me know this meant not only in my meditation, but in my everyday life. Jesus showed in his living how being grounded in the present made everyone who freely came to him feel his whole attention and love. The imitation of Christ is this presence. In the quiet I/we need to hear Jesus say to us I am here for you, standing, bending, lifting you in love. Then with everyone I/we meet in imitation of Christ we convey the message:
I am here.