Sunday, June 22, 2014

Intimacy is a matter of the heart

"You might think if you know story of anybody's life, then you can't help but love them, or at least understand why they are the way they doggedly persist in being. But that's not the case. Certain parents leave teeth marks on their children, and no matter that the scarring heals and fades, the old, soft indentations are always there to finger and call memory back."

Linda McCullough Moore, "On My Way Now," The Sun, April, 2014, p.22

As life fingers those old, soft indentations and memories are called back, both conscious and unconscious, drama erupts and plays get performed, usually tragedies, and while the cast members may be new, the scripts are the same, and the plot unfolds in predictable ways with the same conclusions unless there is a transformation of some sort, an alchemy of sorts, which sometimes religion and/or therapy  or some other form of Love can perform which may seem absolutely miraculous.

Observing these moments of grace, the transforming moments of grace, restores our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and holy relationships based on unconditional love.

I dreamt about my dead son. He was 8 when he died. He was our eighth child and I felt guilty about working so much and not spending enough time with him. I said to him in my dream that I was planning on stopping working so much to spend more time with him. I told him I loved him and missed him and wanted to be there for him more. He said, "That's all right, Dad."

I said, "No it isn't Ryan. I have not been as good a father as I want to be and I'm going to cut back on working so I can do more things with you."

He looked at me and said again, reassuringly, "Dad, it's okay."

I said, "No, Ryan, it's not okay. You deserve more of my time and attention and I'm going to do better."

He said more loudly and somewhat sternly, "Dad, it's okay. Intimacy is a matter of the heart."

I was startled and immediately woke up and thought to myself, "What did this kid just say to me? 'Intimacy is a matter of the heart?', Jesus, he's only eight."

There is tremendous worth and dignity in Ryan's statement to me, his reassurance, that, indeed, intimacy is a matter of the heart. It's not money, gifts, time, pride, encouragement, support, nurturance, attention, compliments and all the other things that we want to give and share with another. In the last analysis, what we have to give and share which has great worth and dignity is the intimacy of the heart, the pure wish for someone else's well being unconditionally.

My Kind Of Church Music - I will always love you, Whitney Houston


  1. I am so moved by this article that I just felt I had to comment that intimacy is mutual meaning making and is sacred and this dream interchange between the dreamer and his son is precious. Describing this dream is an example of local knowledge that rarely gets articulated in our contemporary culture which does not do well with grief and re-membering the psychological and ethical legacies of those who have lived among us previously in their physical bodies but whose spirits continue to dwell among us in the stories we tell about them and their lives. Ryan's spirit lives on and communicates to us from the dream world, from another plane of existence, and adds a wisdom and richness to our earthly realm which enhances and benefits us all.

    Thank you for the wonderful story and this whole series on inherent worth and dignity.

  2. Blew me away. Thank you so much!