When first I was

How I was when I first was, was not to be forever the same thereafter,
For God was intending that I would be spending
An unmeasurable unending time,
In an altogether different hereafter:
A 'here' as well as a 'there',
A present moment, the hour,
As well as a history,
In addition to chasing here and there the events and doings of the day,
There was to be a continuous ever present momentous moment
One Big Now, with me and him, and him and me,
We would be present each to the other.
Well, that's how it was, when I first was.

It was just as well that what I was next
Was not what first I was
But something rather different,
Because what first I was
Turned out to be
Nothing more than a few cells of casual, random, reality.
Yes, that was all I was when I first was.

But then look at it again.
First of all, I was, I was a reality
I was not a mere dream that God had had one nightmarish night.
I was not just one half of a relationship,
But a substance, a being.
Not a being in my own right,
For I was what I was by God's creative might.
So that was what I was when I first was.

Yes I was a reality, a substance,
I was not an accident of nature
I was not a mere by-product
Of some greater good in the divine creation,
No, for I was created by God when I first was,
I was meant to be.
I was meant to be me.

By the way,
Did God say the same thing to you as he said to me?
Were you too meant to be?
Or are you some accident of nature?
Some lazy crazy lawless monstrosity?

Lord God almighty, on this tiny substance
So little, so vulnerable,
You devoted your attention encoding on it
all the potentialities of human life,
And from this potential, which I know is still there,
On the inside of me,
I know I am meant to be.

So that's how it was when first I was
But after that, when I got to the next
In the thereafter
Life did not get any easier, but only harder.


For what followed that first 'I was'
Was a total darkness and silence.
Later I was to find,
That the silence was divine.
Yes,
This silence I had in the womb.
It was the first silence,
The silence I first had,
Which followed the first I was,
I was still a long way yet from the hereafter
and even further from the Big Now,
But then at the last, I always thought that I could catch up to the present moment,
with a late run on the inside of the confessional rail,
and that all would be well.

During that darkness and the silence of the time in the womb,
My soul was not dead and buried,
O God, you knit me together in my mother's womb,
And this was another way from which I learned that I am meant to be.


I am meant to be
thinking, praying, loving,
faithful, joyful, forgiving,
All these things I know are inside of me,
And I know that I have being and meaning.
And I know that I am meant to contribute,
To bring back ten more talents,
not just the one I had to start with.

Now in the dark and in the silence, we can reach stillness
And quieten down the soul.

And then we can receive the word of the Lord.
It was then that the word of the Lord came to me saying,
'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
'And before you were born I consecrated you.'
God finally spoke when all was calm and still.

To hear God speak I had to bring myself to live in the silence,
Then in the womb, after a silence that seemed endless
Suddenly I had ears
I could hear my mother's voice reverberating round her body
and I could hear the panic in her cries of pain.
And then without any introduction or whisper of anticipation
God also for a short while decided to shout and shout
in my soul, with these words

'For a long time I have held my peace
I have kept still and restrained myself
Now I will cry out like a woman in labour pains
I will gasp and pant,

'But then I will lead the blind in a way that they know not
I will turn the darkness before them into light.'

In my life,
I have not first seen something out there,
and then investigated and known the truth.
Rather, hearing the word of the Lord,
My soul has been lit with the light of understanding
And there in that illumination of the mind,
there was the light that drove out error and sin.

The light I have had from the word of the Lord is
'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
'And before you were born I consecrated you.'

And so I was born and claimed by God
I lived in a world of noise and confusion,
But as the days and years wore on
I did come to be still and silent.
In those moments I could hear the Lord being roused,
Hear him rebuking the wind and saying to the sea
'Peace, be still.'
And a great calm always followed.
Who knows, may be I was hearing this through the Big Now

I was, God is, and we will be united in a great calming presence,
Which will abide in the soul for many years to come.
And then one day there will be an end,
When the calming presence will make way for the Big Now.

The Big Now will be the time of the hundred and forty four thousand,
And the time of the many, the great souls
in that multitude that is impossible to count: :-the Many.

Another thing:: I learned this from the grief of human mortality,
And the type of separation it produces in a human marriage::
I learned the reality of divine love permeating our human physical love.
'Love does not come to an end.'
It was marriage that first brought in the hint of human immortality,
for each couple, before their time of nature brought it to an end,
could be new parents of a new generation,
So although each human being had to pass through death,
the human race could be immortal,
it could go on indefinitely.
And we had God's promise
The waters would never again so flood the world as to destroy our humanity.

Behold,
the marriage of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.
But now I fear our times throw away the blessing of children,
and the goods of marriage,
and even the strength of the male-female bond,
and now a man struggles to care about his own son,
never mind a grandson or further generations.
But if there is no desire from the start to build something that will last for ever.
How will anyone fight on beyond the ordinary troubles of life
And reach the Big Now?

Be wary therefore,
Beware where power is grabbed by selfish greed
For in that greed there is a never ending desolation,
which is frightened and scared of generosity of heart,
and which cares about nothing.
Be wary.
Beware!

Martin Lee  November 2013