There is no cruelty in God and none in me.
We put fear under a microscope once more. One of the almost “irritating” aspects of a spiritual journey is that even when we feel we have “healed” or surpassed a certain level of understanding, we are shown these subtle areas where we are still “leaving a pinky out of heaven.” Our Course lessons are like a funnel, leading us to the narrow entry of heaven where no excess baggage, such as fear, can fit. There is only room for pure love.
We have seen a similar concept just a few short lessons ago in Lesson 153, “In my defenselessness my safety lies,” where we explored the walls we have built around ourselves and for what reason? Fear makes us believe that we can be harmed, hurt, or killed. But what can bring death to that which is eternal? If we truly believe this, we must put down all arms and trust in our defenselessness that there is nothing at all to defend.
“How thoroughly insane is the idea that to defend from fear is to attack!” (ACIM Lesson 170 2:1)
We go a step further today as we question who or what we truly guard ourselves from. The world? Our coworkers? Those who are reckless with our hearts? What we truly are cannot be harmed by anything or anyone. It means we are FREE to live as our Self in all situations and circumstances. We no longer need a mask to protect us around family, our coworkers, our loved ones, and this friend or that friend.
We are prompted to look even closer at who our bully is. Yes, we look around and can see the various bullies outside ourselves but who are they really pointing to? Yes, you, and yes, God. We are taking such a bold step as to look at ways in which we believe God can be cruel and the ways in which we believe God punishes. It sounds ridiculous to a sane mind of Christ, but again, we are looking at those subtle areas where sanity has yet to abide.
Where are we not trusting God? Where are we still harboring fear that God is a prejudice being that holds a grudge and is sure to take us down a peg? Where do we believe that an all-powerful God uses Her power to pick on us?
These are each personal questions that only our own hearts and experience can unfold. It is our own personal story that is to be reckoned with. The Course can only point the way toward correction but it is our personal journey that heals it. This goes back to how God shows up to each of us. Where are we mistakenly witnessing God in that which is cruel and vengeful? Where do still believe God is anything that is not Love? Where do believe that Love is our enemy?
“For fear becomes your safety and protector of your peace, to which you turn for solace and escape from doubts about your strength, and hope of rest in dreamless quiet. And as love is shorn of what belongs to it and it alone, love is endowed with attributes of fear. For love would ask you lay down all defense as merely foolish. And your arms indeed would crumble into dust. For such they are” (ACIM Lesson 170 5: 2-6).
Our exercise today is not to trade one fear for another; one idol for one that is more new. We are looking for the shift that shifts our entire being to that of Truth. It is with a fine-tooth comb that we explore our minds and hearts for where we still harbor fear and that which makes us continue to do so. We acknowledge that we have mistakenly given our power away and believed in the protection of fear dressed as a false god. And it is in that awareness that we put down our knives and pitchforks and walk completely naked, vulnerable, and defenseless towards the Light that we are.
“You make a choice, standing before this idol, seeing him exactly as he is. Will you restore to love what you have sought to wrest from it and lay before this mindless piece of stone? Or will you make another idol to replace it? For the god of cruelty takes many forms. Another can be found” (ACIM Lesson 170 8:3-7).
This sort of vulnerability is not easy. As with our other steps, it takes courage. It takes commitment. It takes complete honesty with yourself. Where are you still hiding from Love? Come from behind your hiding place, in which you were never really hidden, and let It show you Its splendor and that It is worthy of your trust.
“Now do your eyes belong to Christ, and He looks through them. Now your voice belongs to God and echoes His. And now your heart remains at peace forever…Now has fear made way for love, as God Himself replaces cruelty” (ACIM Lesson 170 12:1-3 & 6).
God only wills your happiness and for all things to transpire for the well-being of all. This very much so includes you. Shed your Light on those areas where you believe this not to be so. Allow Light to shine on these darkened thoughts and see that there is truly no cruelty there, in you or in God. Namaste.