Guest Post by Ame Kraus, Broadview Business Associate
Recently I was on a spiritual retreat at the InspireSight event up near Yosemite National Park. This retreat helped me reflect on how all aspects of life can be broadened, lifted higher, and seen with a more clear and metaphysical purpose. The spiritual theme was from Hymn 195, “…I breathe that love as heaven’s own healing air; …”
During the retreat we attended events, outdoor excursions, and beautiful presentations that the organizers created to explore nature metaphors found in The Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy. We delved into references of water, atmosphere and plant metaphors through music, sharing ideas, various outdoor activities, and drinking in the gorgeous views of the Sierras. Seeing the clear water ripple in the rivers and creeks around us represented the moving Principle of Mind. Exploring the atmosphere of the Holy Spirit literally gave inspiration of the breath of Life. And, examining how plants have adapted to use their resources and conserve energy from each root tip to the top leaf on the farthest out branch, sparked a desire for balanced and sustainable being in our lives. The keynote address and follow up workshop helped me to better understand the heavenly symbols, history and context of the Book of Revelation, and inspired me to continue learning by participating in a Bible Study with friends back home.
In a moment of quiet reflection, the verses from Matthew 11:28-30 came to mind, especially the part about burdens being light. As I contemplated how I am supported and strengthened by God through Christ in all aspects of my life, it came to me to think of the meaning of “light” not just in terms of weight, but in terms of illuminating God’s glorious creation visually. It was fun to play with the ideas that I am familiar with as a Christian Scientist, such as light extinguishing darkness and there not being any spot where God was not. I related that to how something burdensome could be considered to not be just heavy – but actually “native nothingness” when we lean into God as the sustaining infinite.
Well into the weekend, we enjoyed a cloudy and cool day while walking through the Shadows of the Giants trail (named for the Sequoia trees). And as we approached the end of the trail sunlight suddenly poured in and shone on the trees around us instantly warming us and filling us with joy. My friend and I exclaimed with glee and we spontaneously started singing the line from Mary Baker Eddy’s hymn, Christ My Refuge, “Then His unveiled, sweet mercies show Life’s burdens light. I kiss the cross, and wake to know A world more bright.”
Thinking of that Soul-filled light reminded me that summer is officially upon us as of June 20th this year. When the summer solstice occurs, the maximum amount of light shines onto the northern hemisphere. In the winter solstice, the southern hemisphere is closest to the sun. Growing up I often referred to the solstice as the SOUL-stice, and have enjoyed praying with the idea that the Soul-light of God energizes and renews us all – in all time! By using the tools that were shared throughout this inspiring weekend, and my continual study and practice of Christian Science, I see myself and my fellow man interacting harmoniously with each other and the world, the way that God sees his perfect creation. We can all experience a sense of completeness, joy and freedom when witnessing God’s beauty – everywhere!
Ame Kraus graduated from Principia College in 2003, earning a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a focus on Ecology; and earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix in 2010. She has been working in the Broadview Business Office as the Business Associate since August, 2014. She is grateful to be an active part of the Christian Science Movement in this role, and to witness so much healing among those who come through Broadview’s doors – from guests to staff alike! Ame also loves spending time in and near the National and State Parks and hiking and exploring the local mountains with friends and family.