As I wrote in my journal this morning, I found myself thinking about the old invitational Christian hymn of my childhood, “Just As I Am.” For those of you unfamiliar with what an invitational hymn is, let me explain. At the end of the church service, the pastor offered an invitation to anyone in the congregation who might be “lost” to come forward and give themselves to God. This invitation was accompanied by the choir singing an “invitational” song, one that pulled at the heartstrings. As a child, I loved those songs so much. After all these years and the widening of my spiritual horizons, the feeling tone of those songs is still deep within.
“Just as I am, I come” is such a powerful teaching. Can you feel it? It is a lesson beyond the confines of Christianity, and has at its core a humble stance of self-acceptance in all our marvelous and messy humanity. Each morning, as I go through my surrender process into meditation, into the inner realm where creativity and connection abide, I am frequently tripped up by one of the many whispers of Resistance: “You are not good enough.” Resistance is quite clever and adaptable, but as I awaken more and more to its subtle language, I am able to respond with a counter-message. I am good enough! Just as I am!
And so are you. Right in the cross-hairs of that spiritual decision between the Voice that says no, and the Voice that says yes, is the uncomfortable but glorious opportunity for transformation.
Here is a beautiful passage by Sufi poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, that sums it up nicely:
“Come, come, whoever you are.
lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have
broken your vows
a thousand times.
Come, yet again,