During the 2014 God is a Brown Girl Too Retreat in Sedona, Arizona, we witnessed magic. We rose each morning to new miracles awaiting us at each step. We got up by 5 AM to see the sun rising, collecting each other by our bungalow doors, listening to the lull of crickets left chirping, and birds awakening, and stillness.
Healing met us at our doors and carried us across new thresholds into new seasons of being one with every creature, every shape, every soul. Sedona helped us let go.
Prayers met us on the path and held our hands in perfect circles of truth. The vortex took us and shook us in the holy ghost until we heard the songs of pure possibility within us, until we felt that we were part of the abundance of God everywhere giving.
In my journal, I wrote: “Here, it is easy to see God everywhere.” It is easy to leave the past.
As my fellow prayer warrior Paulette Lucas said, “there is nothing to be healed, only God to be revealed.”
We saw others on the path and blessed them too – realizing that they were meant to be part of our sacred space – and us part of theirs. Our souls were meant to touch and be reminded of our oneness.
We wept as we felt new seeds of harmony anoint us with the whispers of yesterday, tomorrow and today – delivering us from the appearances of disease. We grew out of the old skins of victim and marginalized and denigrated and ascended to the eternal light of love, the liberty of good, and the victory of the vortex.
What is the vortex? Ilchi Lee, the Korean founder of the Mago Retreat Center where we were, said “[a] vortex is the energy field of an object rotating in a spiral around a central axis . . . Vortex sites in Sedona are powerful energy spots that facilitate self-awareness and various healing experiences.” But then he went on to say that “Sedona is itself a vortex.”
Sedona gave us our own vortex – the pure presence of Spirit uniting us as one – one in the dreams that God gives us, one in the perfect wholeness that we are one, one in the simple truth that we are more than what we see in the flesh. Jesus said that we have greater things to know, and be, and say, and do. Restoring, uplifting and healing one another is just one amazing aspect of grace.
We rose with the sun and smelled the freshness of victory in the air. We saw the auras of Spirit in rocks, on paths, and at altars. We felt the love of leaves fall from heaven to remind us that we are exquisite, elegant, exceptional, and that love is our birthright.
Years ago, Native Americans did not live in Sedona because the space was so sacred they purified themselves before they visited and recognized it as a place for ritual and transformation. How wise our ancestors were – to know the true purpose of the red rock and to return to it – reclaim it for resurrection. They realized what Jesus did when he arose from the tomb and told the women to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee. Galilee is a space of purification, cleansing and rejuvenation.
Sedona was our Galilee.
Sonya Johnson was our psalmist. She gave us the holy ghost and opened up new spaces in us to dance and sing and preach the tongues of everywhere and everyone.
Listen to this truth: The sun always shines upon us. The sun is always at our sides. There are periods when we cannot see the road ahead, but that’s okay because the sun is always guiding us. It doesn’t matter what is in front, or what is behind. God is always there – carrying us in the things that we have not yet done or do not remember or do not know. The important thing is not to turn our backs on the sun. What is behind us doesn’t matter. What is before us doesn’t matter. Only the sun matters.
Some people who could not go told that they were there with us. I believe them. The energy is too phenomenal to be limited by time and space. Even after I arrived – exhausted from no sleep, all I had to do was lay across my bed and it recharged me. As Charlotte said, “God calls. God gives the assignment. God provides.”
We saw ourselves complete as new beginnings – empowered by a vortex of unlimited vision. We shook the dust off our feet and moved on the path of righteousness. Angels took charge, lifting us in their hands. Some of us became chefs, poets, dancers, travelers, business owners, seers – seizing the courage we long awaited.
For the first time, we slowed down long enough, stopped long enough and listened long enough – to hear God speaking.
For the first time, we looked and saw our sisters stand up in the power that we all are, and something inside of us stood up for all of us – brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and foes, teachers and students, husbands and wives. We stood and reclaimed our good for everyone and everything: every sun ray, every shining star, every cactus needle, every lizard, every frog, every rainbow, every tree, every stone, and every rock.
We stood in gratitude – for the divinity and originality and courage expressing as each one of us.
We stood for the grace of God everywhere present as the endless miracles that multiply on the wings of faith.
We stood as witnesses to God’s infinite good, inexhaustible supply and wonderful deliverance.
We know that the pure presence of Spirit in us celebrates the magnificence expression of God that you are.
Rev. Cecilia B. Loving