Thursday, April 05, 2007

Open Hand Living

Before we moved from Nevada, we gave away lots of our furniture to my friend, Connie and her family. Connie was incredulous that I could give away tables and recliners--nice stuff--so freely, but I told her I like Open Hand Living. You know, where you picture your house and its insides upon your opened palm--not all scrunched-up in your closed fist.

With Open Hand Living, you appreciate and are grateful for what is yours, but you realize you don't actually own anything in this life. At least, not forever. Things might be taken from you or you may be asked to give them away. You may outgrow that gaudy lamp you once loved because now you have taste. You may misplace favorite photos, drop money or gloves out of your pocket or accidentally shatter that heirloom fruit bowl. You might realize your friend or child loves your favorite candlesticks even more than you do, so you release them to her, instead.

Or God might even ask you to give away much of your furniture and books and move to a whole other state for unknown purposes and adventures.

I realize many people love being sentimentally and mystically attached to their homes and furniture and pets and their favorite restaurants and shops and all their stuff. But I'm finding, more and more, that I'm happiest when I can gaze at all that I think I own and realize, in truth, I own nothing. Someday I will sail away from my house and books and furniture and all my loved ones and I'll travel to meet God-- grasping not one single thing inside my hands.

And perhaps I'm preparing for that now in tiny ways. I like the peeks I'm getting of who I am--and what I am-- aside from, apart from, all the things and stuff it appears I own. When I stand before God, it will just be me and Him--and not one box of my trinkets anywhere. True, I'll not miss my stuff there in Heaven... but it worries me how my heart gets all flutter-panicky when I consider letting go of my favorite stuff now.

There's much more to me than my stuff--than even the gifts and presents God gave me down here. And in this autumn of my life I want to develop and cultivate this inside area of my heart with love and mercy and understanding, because that's all I'm taking with me. There's a whole other form of currency in Heaven... there's a whole other kind of wealth up there.

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