A Healing Table: "Like the Rippling of Light"

I do get disturbed when true help that is needed gets ignored, as this is a very real thing (see last post). At the same time though, there is also a truly hopeful thing that can happen when we each are open to it, like a pool of nice warm expanding light. It's the thing about kindness, comfort, joy...being small subtle things that can "find the little opening" in one's situation and gently enter the edges somehow (see here and here). And that small opening for His light, it can have this amazing rippling out effect. Have been longing to gather together some favorite qoutes and stories and thoughts in this vein:

In the receptive vien, there is the area of co-in-see-dance: opening to seeing how through the little things that happen during the day God is dancing with us...that things aren't mere coincidence, they are co-in-see-dance. You may hear or see some little thing that may carry you through the day, and keeps growing in impact. One recent example i experienced there was seeing a deer in the morning one day. It happened to be a rather traumatic day it turned out that was coming up, but having seen that gently moving deer in the morning it stayed with me, came back to me at the time i needed it most, and deepened. Dreams are another door there. And starting the day praying and reading Scripture is of course a long-popular way to open to His healing and guiding....there may be something you prayed or read that morning that will again, come up at the right moment, take root, carry you throughout the day really, help color (in a good way) how you both see and respond to your day.

Of course its not just about co-in-see-dances happening in the morning. You may be going along and a certain song that comes on the radio moves something, or something you read, or see or hear, it can be the most mundane of things....but deep inside you know when He is reaching out to you through these things, its a feeling. And its like a rippling light....notice it, open to it, and it grows in subtly but surely helping you throughout the day.

More obvious forms of help come to us too through co-in-see-dance, rippling out. An example of this is found in a favorite vintage novel called The Rosary (can also be found online
here, both in text and audio). From it:

"Oh, thank you, m'lady," said the efficient porter when he had
ascertained, by a rapid glance into his palm, that Jane's half-crown
was not a penny. He had a sick young wife at home, who had been
ordered extra nourishment, and just as the rush on board began, he
had put up a simple prayer to the Heavenly Father "who knoweth that
ye have need of these things," asking that he might catch the eye of
a generous traveller. He felt he had indeed been "led" to this
plain, brown-faced, broad-shouldered lady, when he remembered how
nearly, after her curt nod from a distance had engaged him, he had
responded to the blandishments of a fussy little woman, with many
more bags and rugs, and a parrot cage, who was now doling French
coppers out of the window of the next compartment. "Seven pence
'apenny of this stuff ain't much for carrying all that along, I
DON'T think!" grumbled his mate; and Jane's young porter experienced
the double joy of faith confirmed, and willing service generously

A telegraph boy walked along the train, saying: "Honrubble Jain
Champyun" at intervals. Jane heard her name, and her arm shot out of
the window.

"Here, my boy! It is for me."

She tore it open. It was from the doctor.

"Welcome home. Just back from Scotland. Will meet you Charing Cross,
and give you all the time you want. Have coffee at Dover. DERYCK."

Jane gave one hard, tearless sob of thankfulness and relief. She had
been so lonely.

Then she turned to the window. "Here, somebody! Fetch me a cup of
coffee, will you?"

Coffee was the last thing she wanted; but it never occurred to any
one to disobey the doctor, even at a distance.

The young porter, who still stood sentry at the door of Jane's
compartment, dashed off to the refreshment room; and, just as the
train began to move, handed a cup of steaming coffee and a plate of
bread-and-butter in at the window.

"Oh, thank you, my good fellow," said Jane, putting the plate on the
seat, while she dived into her pocket. "Here! you have done very
well for me. No, never mind the change. Coffee at a moment's notice
should fetch a fancy price. Good-bye."

The train moved on, and the porter stood looking after it with tears
in his eyes. Over the first half-crown he had said to himself: "Milk
and new-laid eggs." Now, as he pocketed the second, he added the
other two things mentioned by the parish doctor: "Soup and jelly";
and his heart glowed. "Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have
need of these things."

And Jane, seated in a comfortable corner, choked back the tears of
relief which threatened to fall, drank her coffee, and was thereby
more revived than she could have thought possible. She, also, had
need of many things. Not of half-crowns; of those she had plenty.
But above all else she needed just now a wise, strong, helpful
friend, and Deryck had not failed her.

She read his telegram through once more, and smiled. How like him to
think of the coffee; and oh, how like him to be coming to the

She took off her hat and leaned back against the cushions. She had
been travelling night and day, in one feverish whirl of haste, and
at last she had brought herself within reach of Deryck's hand and
Deryck's safe control. The turmoil of her soul was stilled; a great
calm took its place, and Jane dropped quietly off to sleep. "Your
heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things."

There is also a rippling light that grows from seeking times of contemplation. This is a repeat, but i just love this qoute from Catherine Doherty on this:

"Consider the solitude of a housewife, alone in her kitchen, sitting down for a cup of coffee before beginning the work of the day. Think of the solitudes afforded by such humble tasks as housecleaning, ironing, sewing.

But we’re blind to the "little solitudes" that fill our days. These "little solitudes" are often right behind a door which we can open, or in a little corner where we can stop to look at a tree that somehow survived the snow and dust of a city street.

Our hearts, minds, and souls must be attuned, desirous, aware of these moments of solitude that God gives us....

A day filled with noise and voices can be a day of silence (too), if the noises become for us the echo of the presence of God, if the voices are, for us, messages and solicitations of God....

The silence of a mother, so deep and inward that in it she listens with her whole being to the voice of her children playing in a nearby yard, cognizant without effort of the slightest change in each voice. Hers is a listening silence, which takes place while she competently, efficiently, and lovingly attends to her daily duties.

This silence will come and take possession of lover, mother, worker, nurse, apostle, priest, nun—if only the face of their soul, in the midst of their daily occupations, is turned to God.

At first such silences will be few and far between. But if nourished with a life of liturgical prayer, mental prayer, and the sacramental life of the Church, slowly, like the seedling of a mighty tree, silence will grow.

It will come to dwell in a soul more and more often until one day it will come to stay.

Slowly, imperceptibly, the world roundabout them will change. For the silence within them will become part of God’s loving, mighty, creative, fruitful silence. His voice will be heard through them. His face will be seen in theirs. And the light of it will become a light to their neighbor’s feet."--from Poustinia by Catherine Doherty

And silence itself is a light that can start small and ripple out. Another nice qoute on this from the same author:

"Mary never spoke a useless word. Silence was her dwelling. Silence was her cloak. Silence was her companion...

Her life was a sea of small things so infinitely small that they're almost not worth mentioning. The corn had to be ground, her house swept, the meals prepared; day after day the Mother of God did those things.

From her we can learn the quality of listening, and of taking up the words of others as well as the words of God, holding them in our hearts until the Holy Spirit cracks them wide open and gives us the answer as he did to her as her Spouse."

Noticing those openings for silence and contemplation in our day...and entering them, it can definitely be a rippling light. And there are other things too. Keeping in tune with natural rhythms is another small light that grows in impact as we go about the day. So is the very simple reminder we can give ourselves that it is okay to be happy right now, even though (fill in the blank) is happening. This is one i find i have to return to again and again, and when i do, i can often then feel it rippling out into the day and easing things.

Then there are the more active things we can do that start so small and become that light rippling out. There really are are some very simple things one can often do, especially when one is home based, to help shift things in the day. They are not always possible, sometimes circumstances or injury etc can prevent these things. But when they are an option, simple things like like taking a soothing bath, or a walk outside, or a comforting change of clothes, or an enjoyed craft, or so many things really (fill in the blank)....these are small things, but they truly can help relax something, rippling out into a greater calm and clarity and openness in our day... and that effects things somehow. Even smaller things too..smelling a favorite scent, opening a favorite book, eating a yummy food, lots of little things are so amazing in the surprising rippling effect they can have when truly enjoyed. We all kind of know what our own draws are here.

And then there is a more domestic rippling out, how tending to something small in terms of order snd beauty can start as a small light and irresistably grow. Again, i know some of this is when health and circumstances permit, but when they do, this area can be just huge in impact. A classic story there is When Queens Ride By. Since that one is very long and should be read in full, i'll simply point to a favorite link on this, the book version found
here. The play version can also be found here or here, based on a Letters to Loretta episode...but i just really prefer the book version.

Then there are some smaller stories that really inspire here. On a Home Living post
a bit back some were shared in the comment section that have stuck with me. It all started when one commenter was looking for a certain story, and sharing what she remembered of it to see if anyone knew where to find it:

"In the story the people are living in a very messy and unattended home. I believe one of them is ill and has to keep to her room. Someone gives her a little pretty figurine or some such beautiful thing and they can't bear to put something so pretty down in such a drab and dirty room. Soon the item is encouraging them to clean up about the window. The panes are washed and shining, the curtains are then cleaned and pressed. One spot of cleanness and beauty then spread through out the room and so on through the home."

Though noone seemed to be able to find that particular story, it did lead to other readers sharing some similar ones:

"(From"The Joys Of Homemaking" by Daryl Hoole)

There were many problems at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Blank. The husband's paycheck was far from adequate. As a result, bills were stacked high and financial problems plagued them from all sides. The children were out of control and caused problems wherever they went. Mrs. Blank felt about five years behind in her housework. She was so depressed that she had developed a serious cae of inertia. The situation worsened with each day.

At the very bleakest point, a neighbor happened to give Mrs. Blank a bouquet of fresh flowers. It had been a long time since she had held fresh flowers in her hands, so she took minute to admire them. The she went into the house and found a little container for them and put them on the kitchen table. But the table was so littered that the flowers were completely lost there, so she cleared the table off. She then noticed how worn and bare the tabletop was, so she found a cloth to cover it an then put the flowers back. They really did look charming, she thought, as she stood back to look at them--but the effect was quickly spoiled by the neglect in the rest of the room. So she tidied that room up, which led to the next room, and the next one, until the whole house was in order. Then she herself felt out of place in her appearance, so she put on some fresh clothes and brushed her hair.

At this point something interesting happened. Mrs. Blank felt a surge of ambition go through her. (It's not what you've done that makes you tired; it's what you haven't done that's so exhausting. A day's work completed is really quite exhilarating. It's when you are halfway through the work and see that you are not going to make it that fatigue sets in.) Well, with this newfound energy, Mrs. Blank fussed over dinner that night. She seasoned the vegetables and meat especially well, managed to make some tasty gravy, and baked a pudding. As the children came home from school, instead of screaming and tearing through the house as they usually did, they exclaimed, "Mom, what's happened? Who's coming? What can we do to help?" And they were actually cooperative and pleasant.

Later Mr. Blank arrived home. But instead of greeting his family with his usual gripes and complaints, he was complimentary and congenial. His mood matched the atmosphere. His mood had always matched the atmosphere--it's just that this day the atmosphere had changed.

The family sat around the table enjoying the tastiest meal they could ever remember, with the flowers as the centerpiece. While they were eating, the landlord came to serve an eviction notice because they were so far behind in their rent payments. But as he entered the room and looked around, he changed his mind and said, "Oh, I see things are improving. I'll give you another month to meet the payment." And things did improve, because when the mother cared and tried, the husband and children did too."

"(Summarized from From The Old Brown House)

(There is) an old hermit woman, Aunt Ruth, who lives in a very old, low-roofed, and weather-beaten, brown house. A young girl named Bessie Lane is moving and has to give some of her things away. She gives Aunt Ruth a plant...a little potted rose.

First she placed the little plant in the warmest corner...then the south window. Doing so, she chanced to glance at the window. Why she never realized how dirty those windows were. So she cleaned, rinsed and polished the glass. By doing that she noticed the old muslin curtain was dingier than common...she continued to clean, and then began going to church, and you wouldn't believe the change that came over the little old brown house just because a little girl gave her little potted rose plant to the old hermit woman."

"(And there is another story,) about a little girl who got sick. Her mother was so busy trying to work, that the house and children just sorta had to take care of themselves. It was not a nice place to live. The little sick girl couldn't go to school, and a little school mate began bringing the lessons to the little girl. Later in the story, the school mate brings a little porcelain figurine. The school mate placed the figurine at the window. Suddenly the family began to clean the window, then the curtains, then the rug...and slowly but surely it spread from the window where the figurine lived throughout the whole of the house and finally out of the family."

Things like this just really inspire me. Such small things really can help somehow...they can start so soft and small and ripple out, softly seeking out the edges of our situation and helping to ease things. Our Father knows how hard things are for us, and through these little gifts (which end up being not so little at all) we can know with a growing warmth that He does not forsake us. His love is right here for us, waiting to softly ripple out. There is, i believe, usually an "opening"...discerning it is the thing. sSometimes that opening is something we can enter on our own, like the examples above. And sometimes that opening is through the helping hand of another instead. I truly think we are meant to be God's hands for one another. And also that that help takes many forms, even someone having compassion rather than judgement is a form of help, and makes more difference than we know. Something someone said to me once really stuck....that how we view someone, whether we look down on them or truly think kindly of them, that thats our "prayer for them" and is felt by them deep down somehow. I've always loved that image...

(Images from
here, here, unknown, and here)

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