Life can bring times when we feel completely abandoned, but we have a place of feathers that can hold us secure, so we enter that place of being loved, held, and known.
I’m not sure why, but for many years the final words of my day as my head rests on my pillow are these. ‘Spirit Come.’
My mind often pendulum swings between places of depression and its twin sister anxiety. Entering the new day by going to sleep, I think the little child within me wants to be held warmly and affectionately by love.
So I murmur the words ‘Spirit come.’
I pray for Spirit (Holy) to float and feather around my small human self. It’s a gentleness and peacefulness that I need to rest in and find security.
It’s a place of feathers. Downy feathers, all soft, warm, and fluffy. Pinion feathers, the ones used for flight, strong and enfolding.
I sleep within those feathers. Then I peek out from under those feathers as I face the day and all it brings.
Do you live in a place of feathers?
A place of feathers
How do we describe God?
The Bible describes God as being like a place of feathers.
Matthew and Luke record Jesus expressing his protecting and nurturing love to us like a mother hen and his frustration at the independent streak we all have to try and go it alone.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets
and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have
gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood
under her wings, and you were not willing! Matthew 23:37 Luke 13:34
Then there is a love-filled Boaz expressing his heart welcome to Ruth, a Moabite, and her desire to live under the shadow of Yahweh’s wings.
The Lord repay you for what you have done,
and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the
God of Israel, under whose wings you have come
to take refuge! Ruth 2:12
Warmth and strength
There are three things I believe our soul needs to hear.
I am held
I am loved
I am known
Three messages for our soul to secure itself in.
Looking at the feathers of a bird, we see beauty and strength. The pinions are strong but light, enabling the bird to fly, but they can also be tucked in to surround the body.
Then there are those fluffy inner feathers that provide warmth and insulation to the bird’s body. Downy and fluffy, soft compared to the strong flying and protecting wings.
I am invited to snuggle in between the two. Held, loved, known.
Yes, I am held close and protected from the harsh world outside. I can push my way out whenever I want, but I always know where home is. I know where I am held.
Inside and out, I am known. My uniqueness is cherished. There is no rejection or abandonment.
Loved for all that I am and all that I am not. No ambivalence to my presence; instead delight in the eyes of the other to see you—a spark to see who you will become.
A desire to never let go of your presence.
A place of feathers
Can you provide a place of feathers for someone else?
There is a time and place for being the one who can demonstrate these God qualities of being Held, Known, and Loved to someone else.
I have been reading Soul Therapy by Thomas Moore, and I read these words last night before going to sleep in a feathery place.
My main rule is to love my client’s soul.
That is not romantic love, because it’s not so personal.
You see the seeds of what this person could be.
You glimpse the tragic events she had to go through, and you feel with her.
You sense the promise and the possibilities.
Your love of her soul is so intense, the very fulfillment of your vocation, that other kinds of love-romance, sexuality, personal intimacy-do not get in the way.
The love of soul is too big and powerful. Thomas Moore – Soul Therapy
That’s the place I want to know myself and offer to others.
Quotes to consider
- Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from. There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden, or even your bathtub. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
- The greatest favorites of destiny make mistakes. Our joys are composed of shadow. The supreme smile is God’s alone. Victor Hugo Les Misérables
- The opposite of love is not hate , it’s indifference. Elie Wiesel
- Where there is great love there is always miracles. Willa Cather
Questions to answer
- What would happen in you if you were to know the fulness of being held, known and loved?
- How does seeing God as a place of feathers inspires further trust?
- Jesus said, ‘How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood
under her wings, and you were not willing!’What does this say to you about God’s allowance of free will?