Our Quilts

 

Twelve Powers, 

Twelve Quilts

 
 
Unity of Wimberley is known for 12 quilts that adorn its sanctuary walls. They are the first thing most visitors notice -- well, after they see the gorgeous view of the hills from our back porch!
 
One of Unity's primary teachings is that each individual is divine, an expression of God on the earth. Charles Fillmore, the American mystic who founded the Unity spiritual movement in 1889, suggested every human is hard-wired with 12 divine attributes or "powers" that are developed as we understand more deeply the Christ presence within us.
 
To illustrate this idea, teams of congregants in 2005-06 uniquely designed and created quilts reflecting the Twelve Powers. Below is a close-up of each quilt with a description of the divine quality it represents.
--Rev. Ellen Debenport
 
quilts in sanctuary

 

FAITH

 

Faith quiltJust as we know the sun will rise every morning, faith allows us to live in the awareness that divine love and wisdom are within us and available to us always.

Faith is knowing that we live in an ocean of divine love and intelligence, no matter the immediate circumstance. Faith is understanding that the thoughts we hold have creative power, so we can manifest our life experiences. Faith is affirming the good in any situation, even when we can’t see it yet.

Our innate power of faith is represented by the disciple Peter, but in fact, Peter’s faith often wavered.

He tried to walk on water with Jesus and sank. He saw the divine power in Jesus but, when trouble came, Peter claimed never to have met the man.

Yet Peter’s faith was solid enough, often enough, that Jesus called him "The Rock" and said Peter would hold the keys to the kingdom.

It’s a relief to know our faith does not have to be one hundred percent to be good enough. We return to the ground of our faith again and again in the course of a day or a lifetime.

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

 

 

STRENGTH

 

Strength quiltSpiritual strength is not the power to dominate but the inner wherewithal to persevere.

Coaches talk about mental toughness, which one sports psychologist described as “improving your mind so it’s always on your side.” We might call that a spiritual practice, focusing thoughts to stay positive and grounded, or spending time in meditation to quiet the mental noise.

Strength is calling on the spirit within to help us put one foot in front of the other through times of uncertainty, activating our inner reserves of faith, love and wisdom. We will know what to do and when to do it.

We might also call upon our strength not to act, but to wait in the awareness of divine order, knowing all is well.

Strength is the inner resource that keeps us going. Equipped with the strength of the divine, we can face life fearlessly.

 

 

 

 

WISDOM

 

A friend says it’s hard sometimes to tell the difference between wisdom and baggage. Both are accumulated over the years. Both inform our beliefs and actions now.

Baggage is usually a collection of mistakes we hope not to make again or wounds that haven’t entirely healed. Wisdom, on the other hand, not only includes the knowledge gleaned from human experience but the inner promptings that guide our lives.

Wisdom is drawn from a deep reservoir of the divine within. It surfaces effortlessly when we allow it. Wisdom is God within us, ready to express whenever needed.

Think of wisdom as your soul speaking to you, your Higher Self steering you in new and sometimes unexpected directions. Wisdom lets you know intuitively what is yours to do.

 

 

 

 

LOVE

 

Love quilt

Love is the basis of the world, the foundation of each particle, the invisible substance of all things. It is the divine essence that binds together the whole human family.

Love is God, and we are made in love’s image.

The English word love is too broad in one sense, covering everything from romance, to a parent’s love for a child, to a love of ice cream or football. But in another sense, no word could be broad enough to encompass all the workings of a universe that is built on love, with love.

Love balances the masculine and feminine, the adult and child. It incorporates enthusiasm and serenity, wild revelry and the quiet meeting of eyes, of souls.

We are all connected by love, we live in an ocean of love, and we are love in human form. If there is only one God, there can be only one love – divine love that expresses in myriad ways and circumstances, animating our lives as human beings.

This is the love that was born in Jesus and demonstrated in his life. Love is the Christ child each of us carries within.

 

POWER

 

Power quilt

Spirituality is often thought of as meek and mild, or sweet and serene.

Yet how powerful is love? How powerful is the ability to create with our thoughts and words? How powerful are we when aligned with the One?

We have tremendous spiritual power, which gives us tremendous responsibility to stay focused on creating the kingdom of heaven, rather than being pulled in every direction by physical demands on our bodies, time and attention.

Joel Trudell, founder of the American Indian Movement, said in a documentary: “We think power is in government or military or education. That’s not power. That’s authority. Power comes from our relationship to life.”

More precisely, our relationship to ourselves. And our Selves. We exercise spiritual power by harmonizing our thoughts and words with the divine. Then we have no less than the power of God working through us.

 

 

IMAGINATION

 

Imagination quilt

Imagination is the key to life. Imagination is the genesis and generator of every idea, invention, or improvement ever carried out.

My imagination is part of my divinity, a God-given ability I can use to create my life. My conscious thoughts have creative power, alongside the less-conscious but higher thoughts or guidance from my Inner Self.

Today, I open myself to imagination, allowing ideas to flow no matter how improbable they might seem at first. I can choose from the banquet of my imagination to nourish my life, knowing that the vision I hold will manifest.

 

 

 

 

 

UNDERSTANDING

 

Understanding quilt

Understanding is an almost indescribable joining of head and heart, of knowledge and intuition.

Think of a counselor who has been trained to understand people, but who also has a wordless understanding of what others are going through and how to help them. Think of a chef who has trained in culinary arts but who knows without a recipe which flavors will complement each other.

Spiritual understanding works the same way. First we learn about principles or we become convinced of our own divinity, then we incorporate the knowledge into our lives, and finally we live it as our being.

The light of spiritual understanding might dawn in a brilliant flash or a gradual gathering of clarity. Either way, it allows us to see more clearly -- to see beyond mass consciousness, to see into other people no matter how they present themselves, to see a world of love even when we watch the news.

King Solomon in the Bible prayed for an understanding heart and made decisions by combining evidence with wisdom. We do the same. On those days when the right words pop out of your mouth, seemingly from nowhere, or the right decision is suddenly obvious, or you receive a “divine download” of exciting ideas or creative possibilities, you are experiencing understanding.

As you look back on your life, reflect on situations where understanding served you. In what areas of the foreseeable future do you want to ask for deeper understanding?

 

 

WILL

 

Will quiltWhat is called free will can get you into trouble, but exercising your will is also the only way to accomplish anything.

Much as you might enjoy your imagination, left alone, it might run wild with fanciful mental creations. Will actually gets the job done. Will carries out the plan. Will gives you the ability to create your life rather than sit back and wait to be blessed.

Of course, will can run wild, too, like a bull in a china shop. It must be put in service to divine wisdom and understanding.

“Not my will but thine be done,” Jesus said as he waited for arrest. He was releasing his human striving to a higher power, calling forth his own divinity so he could act (execute will) from his God-self.

Our goal is to live in divine consciousness all the time so our will carries out the most loving intentions rather than the whims of personality. It’s not easy. Even Jesus had to pray most of the night to re-center himself in Divine Mind.

Open yourself to the flow of the divine. It can direct your will into right action.

 

 

 

ORDER

 

Order quilt

I’ve heard people chirp, “It’s all in divine order” until sometimes I wanted to scream. It’s often the spiritual-but-not-religious version of, “Well, dear, this must be God’s will.”

Yet I do believe there is order to the universe, which is governed by spiritual laws that never change. Order is in the principles we live by and the divinity that is our essence.

For instance, the principle that I create my experience with my thoughts is in effect all the time. Whatever I am experiencing perfectly reflects my consciousness. Even when my experience seems unpleasant, I choose to believe there is order in it I can’t see.

Look at the order in nature – the planets orbiting, the seasons changing. If the universe runs on divine order, am I really powerful enough to throw my life out of whack? Or could it be that my life, like the planets, is moving in perfect synchrony on a larger scale than I can see?

I may not have complete perspective on my soul’s journey through the human experience, but I trust all is in order.

 

 

ZEAL

 

Zeal quilt

An effervescent personality is not required to have zeal. Zeal is a divine quality, part of the power with which we are equipped as humans.

Zeal is divine energy expressing in our lives. It may be shaped in different ways by personality, but for each of us, zeal is the impulse to move forward, the stirring within that drives us beyond what we know and into new arenas.

Divine energy streams to us and through us as life, love, creativity and intelligence. We direct those forces in our world -- the more consciously, the better -- and our zeal keeps urging us forward.

Zeal alone may be brief enthusiasm that burns out quickly. But zeal tempered with wisdom and understanding creates good in our world and evolves the human species.

 

 

 

RELEASE

 

Renunciation quilt

How interesting that the ability to let go is actually a divine power.

But think about it: Release is necessary for any improvement. We let go of something good for something better. Releasing what we love, even when it feels ripped away from us, may be clearing the decks for unimagined good that is on the way.

Nature is continually destroying and creating. Trees drop their leaves in autumn then, after a fallow period, burst forth with new life in the spring. Wildfires sweep through dead brush and make way for new greenery. Every living creature eliminates what it does not need for physical nourishment.

In the human body, an inability to release waste is considered a medical emergency. When toxins cannot be released in air or water, they pollute and destroy whole ecosystems.

Call it elimination, renunciation, denial, or release, the conscious decision to let go of what does not serve us is a part of our divine nature.

We release outdated concepts of ourselves to accept our place in the One Mind. We release unhealthy attachments or toxic relationships at the level of personality.

And maybe most difficult of all, we let go of our expectations and planned outcomes in order to accept a future we could not have dreamed.

 

 

LIFE

 

Life quilt

Our twelfth divine attribute is Life. Life is the energizer and activator for all our ideas. It shows up as physical stamina, mental stimulation and spiritual power to achieve whatever is ours to do.

But be careful where you point that thing. Life is intended to be in service to the divine. Bring it under the direction of your Christ consciousness, the wisdom, love and other divine attributes in you.

Our work as human beings is surrender to the soul, employ these 12 powers at every opportunity, and live from the highest possible consciousness.