Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)
TITLE: Portals of Passage
By Helga Doermer
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Psalm 139:16 New International
The portals through which our lives pass are many, yet few require a hardcopy passport with picture identification. Instead, each gateway includes invisible expectations of its own. Every country, culture and religious community plays a part in shaping the spaces through which we enter and depart, even the two thresholds which all humanity cross.
Consider the first gateway we encounter from womb to world, the one we come through to be present in human form. Already many influences come to bear on whether entrance will be successful or not, such as: the circumstances surrounding conception and birth; gender of the child; birth order in the family; physical, emotional and financial ability to provide support; and the list goes on. Some of these factors will also have an impact on the reception that waits on the other side, for those who successfully exit the original home. Though attaining a separate human identity in the physical realm, this is simply one of many openings we pass through.
Whenever we tell stories of separation or belonging, we are describing portals. Stories of separation and rejection are descriptions of places that have been barred to us. While stories of belonging describe entrances successfully passed through. Few of us might ask how we obtained access to our families, religious communities, schools, jobs, or relational partnerships. When the path through life is smooth, we may not even be aware that invisible passports or barriers exist. We may not recognize that many ports have automatically opened to us. Yet when access is denied, the need for a passport of some kind becomes more readily apparent.
There is one passageway no one is denied. All who are birthed from womb to world will one day exit the physical realm. Laid to rest in the cradle of the earth, returning to ashes again, the sustaining hope is that we have successfully gained admittance to the true path intended to guide our life. Having lived the days ordained for us, our spirits are freed to depart through one last portal to eternity. No hardcopy passport is required, as all we have lived is imprinted on our being.
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