Reflections by Jerry Webber

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Learning to Bear the Beams of Love

"We are put on this earth for a little space that we may learn to bear the beams of love." (William Blake)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I need less and less convincing of the "little space" which is given to me.

The phrase "wasting time" seems blasphemy.

To "pass the time" means ceding moments that will never come back to me.

I can think of no more dangerous activity (or non-activity) than boredom, the tediousness of a life not given to anything in particular, to random acts of "filling time" with that which is mundane and numbs the soul. That I -- or anyone -- would get to the end of life and say, "I never missed an episode of 'Dancing with the Stars' or 'American Idol,' seems to denigrate the little space, the holy life, that we have each been offered.

I do not downplay the ordinary, the mundane, the "fun"; however, there is a time for most all of us when the ordinary, mundane, and fun becomes distraction and not pathway. It turns our face away from the "little space" and its urgency, rather than calling us more deeply into the "little space."

"Learning to bear the beams of love," though, may be too much for any of us. We have settled into petty loves, psuedo-loves, all the things that pass for love and fulfillment. Boredom and distraction are the human reactions to the weight of bearing beams of love.

As a human, I find that I'm willing to taste almost anything, even if I know it won't bear the beams of love, just to try it out, just to see if it might satisfy my soul-hunger. Of course, an entire parade of things, even good things, cannot satisfy that desire of soul for which I/we yearn. One by one they point us to the One who alone satisfies, to the One who alone is able to fill the void within us, the One who Authors the beams of love.

Bearing the beams of that love will take a lifetime, the short years I have remaining. I have no time to waste, no hours to burn, no hours to spend mindlessly.

Mary Oliver updated Blake when she wrote:

"Listen -- are you breathing just a little
and calling it a life?"

More and more, at least for me, if it is not borne of love, if it is not an act of bearing the beams of love or radiating beams of love, it may be breathing, but it is not my life.

I'm sitting in the midst of another cycle of chemotherapy and all the accompanying drugs that are supposed to poison not only the cancers in my blood, but also that which is intended to give me health and bodily well-being. In this place I'm aware of my own "little space" and my own interior burning to bear beams of love to the world.

For too long I have been breathing, taking up space, and calling it a life.

1 comment:

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

Wondeful post! Thanks for sharing. I included your post to my Counting Internet Blessings - The Best of This Week list at!
Thanks for being a blessing. God's peace and abundant blessings to you!