Intangible Grace

I went to a kirtan led by Phil McWilliams tonight. It was held in a lovely old church and there were tiny lights on the floor where the performers were. They also adorned five altars set in window niches. I took a copy of the cover of Bigger Than The Sky and laid it on one so it could get blessed by the energies in the room. It’s in black and white; I don’t have a color printer.

This was an evening that defied description, carrying us beyond words and directly into the silence of the heart. I belong with these people, each creating space in which each other’s hearts are heard.

The music leads you step by step into the presence of your own silence. It takes a deep dedication and attention on the part of each musician. Guitars, percussion instruments, keyboard, Phil and 3 lovely female singers. And we, the listeners, somehow are responding. Call and response of the heart. The music builds and then the space is held for the One that calls us home.

Being held by a group in this way allows you to accept yourself just as you are. A pilgrim, perhaps with holes in your garment or in your spirit. You are encouraged to dance, to clap, to respond to the holy names being sung. You are somehow known, mysteriously knowing.

And when the evening is over, you return home with something precious in the palm of your hand. Oh, there is nothing there. And yet there is. Intangible grace.

Vicki Woodyard

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