What is ‘repentance’? It is coming into an awareness of where we have resisted Love, where we have denied Love, where we have been blind to Love’s action in my/our life. It is the doorway into a NEW consciousness. This evolving or awakening awareness comes about through mystical experiences of Love where we have cried out: ‘there is something greater than Jonah here.’ It is an experience immersed in Mystery beyond our ordinary knowing. When we are OPEN to recognise and receive these experiences, which are abundantly and ALWAYS present, our lives change – here we meet REPENTANCE and its FRUIT.
This is not a negative experience, though initially it may feel this way, and is filled with Grace and invitation. Some lives change dramatically and almost instantly, and others more slowly over time but still eventually just as dramatically. The awakening of this new awareness will ALWAYS bear FRUIT and be transformative. This fruit has countless faces, and ALWAYS involves Love; because Love is the Essence from which the fruit emerges. The fruit is ALWAYS given for others, because it comes from the Creative Energy of the Cosmos, which is eternally expanding, evolving, birthing; its very Essence is Creativity. For those who have experienced this repentance, creativity becomes the heart of their future journey. As several spiritual writers say; we become co-creators with God/Love. This is repentance in action.
Over the past few weeks we have had a fox in our front yard just before dark. I hadn’t seen it myself but our son had, and he sang out to me a few nights ago to ‘come and see the fox’. We have had four or more lots of ducks nest their eggs and ducklings in our back yard this year and of course the foxes are their great predators, so I wasn’t too thrilled seeing this fox lurking around. I came out and walked towards it and it just stood there looking at us. Not really believing what I was seeing, I began to run towards it yelling shoooooo, shoooooo. While it eventually took off down the street with me running after it, it kept stopping and looking at me as if to say ‘what are you doing?’ I couldn’t believe how cheeky and fearless it was. I rang our local Council the next day and had an amusing conversation which I won’t go into all the details here. It turns out our area has a ‘tame’ fox! Other people had rung in too. It appears someone has been feeding it and now it isn’t afraid of people or even dogs – its quite friendly!!
The reason I tell this story is because, as much as I don’t like foxes (or don’t like what they do to our ducklings!), it had had a positive experience of human beings that changed it dramatically from being a timed and sneaky creature to one who felt somewhat at home now around people (although I am sure it hadn’t lost its appetite for ducklings!). When a wild animal can experience such an expansion of being through the love and care from another, then surely the same happens to us when we open our hearts to receive the embrace of Love that births the Cosmos, and continues to birth us into Life and keeps pouring Love into and upon us? Then perhaps within our awakening consciousness (which because we are conscious beings, will involve repentance) we will have the courage to see what we are doing to our Earth and to each other and then stop being the predators of the Earth ourselves and sadly often of each other.
Some questions to ponder: What feeds and nourishes me/us to awaken? What nurtures me/us and opens our Hearts to move beyond our fears? Do I LISTEN to my experiences and recognise where they are inviting me to grow in Love? If a fox can change so dramatically because it encountered some little gestures of loving, how much more will we change when we ALLOW Love to truly penetrate our Hearts? We are supposed to be the conscious ones and yet I wonder at times just how truly conscious we are when we continue to commit the atrocities we do – when, THROUGH AND IN OUR SILENCE, we continue to support companies, governments and religious leaders and institutions who repeatedly attack the Earth for economic and power gain, who violate the poor, violate women and children etc. Those who know the journey of ‘awakening’ find their voice in our imperfect world, and NO LONGER REMAIN SILENT.
John the Baptist was clearly one such person along with many others. And his/their acceptance of his growing consciousness heralded the birth of Love for everyone around him/them. Of course, we all have a choice to accept this invitation into a new consciousness and repentance. It is only within this NEW consciousness where ‘justice and peace will flourish’. We are deluded if we think or live otherwise.
In what way are we preparing a way for Love to be birthed in our world/in us? Do we through our attitudes and beliefs make the path straight for Love to come to birth or do we create obstacles? Are we a voice crying in the wilderness, lamenting what is happening in our world, and helping people see and experience this NEW and evolving consciousness that is before us and within us? Are we prepared to let go of our hardheartedness and welcome this NEW consciousness immersed in Love? If a wild animal like a fox can experience such an expansion, then imagine what the possibilities are for us and our world!