Is this a trick question? There should be a chronologically straightforward response here, right?
It might have been the time the seven year old me, seething from the clearly oppressive wrath of parental domination, ran out into the woods behind our house. Seeking any kindred spirit to pour out my woes, I was drawn to a solitary young conifer surrounded by the oak-beech-maple forest. Under that canopy I found shelter, solace, I felt accompanied. Was that the Light?
But then there was also the time when I was about twelve. On a hike in the Colorado Rockies, I looked down at the made-in-China pendant of Jesus around my neck and noticed a heart etched there, glowing. The child in me still suspects the heart was burned in precisely at that moment of kindling of divine love. The adult who knows better blames the whole event on the hot sun.
Surely it had to have been no later than my first year in college. I remember how it felt to act from a place of alignment with conscience, “speaking truth to power,” while engaged in street theater with Plowshares activists on the plaza in front of the Pentagon. Or maybe it was in Atlanta, serving corn grits at 6am to day laborers, enraged at the criminalization of homelessness and race. There I learned the dance of responding to anger, tears, laughter and vulnerability of people existing on the fringes with both love and a thick skin.
Truth is, sometimes I feel like I’m still trying to pin down a rather elusive, Trickster-like Light and begging it to hold still. Just when I’ve thought I have the Light figured out, and where it’s leading me neatly defined, it shifts, eluding my mental grasp in a game of cosmic Marco Polo.
Over here, the Light as a flicker of communion with non-human life. There, as the flame of God’s love. Front and center, as mutually woven liberation for myself and others around the world. Emerging from within as fidelity to intuition and inner guidance.
As this call and response continues to illuminate my blind understanding of the Light, I come to recognize the divine Presence showing up in unexpected time and place. Marco!