She invited me to go with her. And when we had plummeted the depths, Whale and I surfaced to breathe. We were in the real world, yet hardly in the day-to-day. Discernment often disrupts the flow of daily activity, bringing us face to face with what is and asking us to respond.

Discernment can take time and who has any of that anymore? It is easier to catch the first glimpse of something recognizable and quickly categorize its entirety.

It seems that we have digressed into proving a thing as if we lived in a court of law. Job began with his courtroom moments, needing informational answers, but then evolved.

Throughout Christian scripture, we read about transformation. Someone once asked me, “Do you actually believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale and lived”? Did it matter? The truth seemed oceans deeper than did it really happen? Jonah leads us into our own conversion stories.

What happened to metaphor? Most of us have been through a life experience that felt much like being in the belly of a whale.

And what happened to discernment, to sensing the heartbeat of another, or of God? In my questioning, Creation’s Bible sent Whale.

Whale jumped high and dove deep. Looking into her discerning eye, I was reminded of our narratives, and how we can let the few who fail us, color every similar experience, or not.

Whale showed me how to write a rich story. She showed me how to fine-tune an experience by persevering in one chapter and how to create a hairpin turn, by pulling up the courage to change, in another. Good stories hold both.

And as we ask, what happened to… just before letting Whale swallow us up, so that we can die there, Grace appears. She flows into our lives in the form of an opportunity, a met need, a loving other, and we emerge from the depths, back into the sunlight of our daily lives.

Whale is known for keeping records from generation to generation much like our bodies carry messages not only from what we have experienced, but also from those who lived before us. For me, evolving meant opening to the inaudible whale-like voices of Discernment.

Already being in the unknown, I accepted the invitation to allow my imagination, as well. And within my dream-like wonder, I began honing real from illusory as I went diving with Whale.

Sacred Ruminations*