Last night, I enjoyed the small-town charm of Apex for the Christmas tree lighting with my friend Heather, who lives there. Naturally, after those festivities, we headed to her favorite coffee shop. She mentioned that a new friend Fernando might be there. He was. Fernando is difficult to describe, beyond his cap-topped-curls, smiling eyes of one about fifty or so, and slight Latino accent. I suppose I would call him a mystic, or perhaps a prophet. He is a deeply spiritual person, who doles out that spiritual wisdom with great abandon, something most of us are skeptical of this day and age. But he’s not selling anything. He’s not forcing his ideas on anyone. He’s not asking for money or power. He’s telling people they are loved by God, that they are a masterpiece, and that God is doing great things through them, that they can change their reality by changing their perception of it. As close as I can tell (as one who is admittedly uncomfortable by such an approach), he is naming the truth of God as he sees it. But all of that truth-telling is done with a sincerity and love that makes you feel like you’ve just somehow, in this easily-overlooked diminutive man, seen God.
He shared a prayer with me, printed out in bold font with Bible verses to correspond with each part. Again, picking out Bible verses to use them standing alone (and not in context) isn’t really my style. But it’s Fernando’s style, and so I can appreciate it. I share his prayer with you today:
I AM THE LIGHT THAT GOD SHINES THROUGH.
GOD AND I ARE ONE NOT TWO.
GOD NEEDS ME WHERE AND AS I AM.
I NEED NOT DOUBT, NOT FEAR, NOR PLAN.
IF I BUT BE RELAXED AND FREE,
GOD WILL WORK HIS PLAN OF LOVE THROUGH ME.
AMEN!!! (his exclamation marks)
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
1 Corinthians 6:17 Whoever unites themselves with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Matthew 21:21 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but you can also say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”
Proverbs 16:1-3 We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer. Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.
Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Thank God for mystics like Fernando, who tell us their understanding of the truth regardless of how they might be perceived, and who are a tangible and loving reminder of God’s presence.