by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM Ireland 07.02.2024
In 2022 I wrote a blog called “Already There”. It flowed from an insight I had about eternal life and what it means to have been created by a loving God and at the end of life return to that same loving space. As I am held alive by God’s love, part of me is already there, at the centre. I don’t think I expressed it well, but it made me aware of how sometimes phrases just “stick” with us.
Recently I read an article that used the phrase “I am still here”. It was referring to the plight of indigenous peoples, displaced in their own land by migrants and settlers and yet not overcome and obliterated. “I am still here” say the indigenous peoples of North and South America, of Australia and New Zealand, of the Middle East. It is a phrase of resistance and self-determination.
There are other ways we can use the same phrase. I am still here because I am stuck, not knowing how to move forward in life. I am still here because I love this place and don’t want to leave it. I am still here because my work here is not done yet. I am still here because there is more for me to do before I continue on my path of life.
There is a famous phrase that says, “Be still, and know that I am God”. In a song, Deirdre Ni Chinneide breaks it down even further – “Be still, and know that I am”, “Be still and know”, “Be still”. Each time the phrase takes on a slightly different meaning. But the essence is stillness. I think the phrase “I am still here” resonates so much with me these days is because of that stillness. No, I am not still!! I scurry around in a busy life, meeting deadlines, answering correspondence, listening to world news. But in my heart, I crave that stillness. To say “I am still here” today means that I continue on the journey to find that stillness.
Maybe in the end it is not unconnected with my “already there” phrase”. Perhaps they are both linked to that pang of longing for the infinite.