There are some things you just can’t ignore. Last week I was driving to Vespers at the Monastery of the Risen Christ, and I was late, a typical state of being for me. You might think we late types stroll along with great aplomb, but usually, I worry and try to mentally hurl myself through time and space to somehow arrive earlier. Surprisingly, this approach has not actually worked yet, despite trying so hard I feel an internal pushing force.
As I neared the monastery, a group of vultures caught my attention and drew my eye to the meadow, at which point I had to stop the car in the middle of the empty road: a bald eagle flew low above the grass, quite close by, with prey in his talons.
In thirteen years, I’ve never seen a bald eagle on the Central Coast of California, and had I been on time, I’d have missed it. I know just enough about Native American spirituality to know that if you have the good fortune to receive a message from Eagle, the Divine really wants to get your attention. This message was unmistakable: I’m here.
I’m here when you’re running late and when you’re on time, when you’re messing up and when you’re succeeding. You can’t actually screw this up because I’m here regardless, and you can’t fix it for the same reason—I’m here so there’s nothing to fix.
There is perhaps no message I’ve resisted more strongly until now. How, you may ask, as I have, can this be true for the victim of a drive-by shooting or children caught in a war zone? I have no answer for that, and at the same time, this experience gave me a deep certainty that this here-ness is true.
It keeps popping up this week, or maybe more accurately breaking through. As I try to finish this presentation at work and everything else slips farther and farther behind: I’m here. As I fail again and again to live from my heart: I’m here. As I notice the flowers on the trees: I’m here. I’m here with you and inside you and with and inside everything else. I’m here.