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Memory most days is my friend. Last Friday we enjoyed each other for most of the afternoon, especially when sharing with a somewhat attentive ear about the first day I began reading Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II, in 2004 while working in Leeds, England.

I remembered the day as if it had been Thursday, March 28, 2013. I sat for an hour in a small little coffee shop near Leeds University, feasting on each and every line really wanting to digest what this particular influential theological voice had to say about creation… my neighbor… future lovers… me. I did not get very far that first read, I think I only got 5 or so pages in because my imagination was captured by his words that every single created thing is a divine manifestation of a good loving God. I was stuck… Captured. There was absolutely no reason for me to try to read another line in his book that day.

I remember reading the two creation narratives over & over for an hour or so, then journaling for another hour about this reality and the implications of such a truth upon my seeing, speaking, touching and being. It was one of the only moments that the written word read instantaneously transformed my thinking & seeing in such a way I was not the same. It was in some ways my “Aldersgate Moment.”

I remember my vision being the sharpest it has ever been, and possibly will ever be, as I drove home that fall West Yorkshire day in 2004. I was overcome with tears by the light of each and every person I passed, wondering if they could see it to; whelmed by the truth, possibility of things and keen awareness of the harsh daily realities that we can too often give the power to dim such radiance.

During this season of awakening for me, of labor, I am glad memory invites me into moments like last Thursday that help me push a bit harder and breathe in the stillness of the light within, around, below and above me, as she also invites me into moments that I long to forget but need to remember to forgive… to heal.

The journey awakens the soul.

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